When did spring happen? For months it was too cold to grow peas, then before you knew it the arugula patch was a foot tall and rapidly becoming inedible. I’m happy to report though that at least the spinach seems on track, and yesterday I plucked the season’s first legitimate harvest — leaves so bright and pretty that I didn’t want to cook them. In the end I adapted an easy Tom Douglas recipe with wonderful results. It’s delicious stuff we’d eat every night, if the plants wouldn’t get all hot and bothered, and bolt.

Recipe: Spinach with Miso Vinaigrette

1 large bunch spinach, chopped / 3 tbls rice wine vinegar / 2 tsp shiro or other miso paste / splash sesame oil / 3 tbls vegetable oil / ground black pepper / pinch red pepper flakes / 1 tsp minced chives

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add spinach and wilt gently, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, and drain any excess water from the spinach. Mix together the remaining ingredients, pour dressing over the spinach, and combine. Serve immediately or chill for an hour, then serve. Feeds 2.

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