Mizuna, the exotic cousin of the winter greens family
This week CSA members have a real treat in their boxes! A beautiful green called mizuna shows up this time of year and I’m excited Frank gives his customers a chance to try it! Also known as Japanese mustard greens, mizuna is grown extensively in Japan because it’s a green that is tolerant to cold temperatures. (That’s also why their appearance here in Phoenix is very short!)
Like mustard greens, mizuna has a spicy bite. Its more delicate appearance, however, makes it a fun addition to raw salads as well as the traditional ways the other mustard greens we receive are used: stir frying, and soups. (A miso soup or ramen might be perfect for this blustery winter weekend.)
Mizuna pairs very well with grains, as in this Mizuna Quinoa Salad from Early Morning Farm, a fellow CSA in upstate New York.
The Kitchn recommends simply chopping them roughly, tossing them with some boiled new potatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper, for an easy and flavorful winter side dish.
Sow Fresh Organics shares a beautiful recipe for Sauteed Mizuna with Garlic and Fish Sauce.
Asian Lifestyle Design’s Mizuna Salad with Ground Pork is a nice introduction to the way this green might be prepared in Japan, location of its largest fan base.
Mizuna also pairs well with citrus, as showcased in this Mizuna Salad with Kumquats I found on Food & Wine.
One of the most popular ways to eat mizuna in Japan is to pickle it. The process is not nearly as involved as traditional pickling, and the end result is ready the next day. Here are the easy instructions from JR Organics Farm. These would add a nice punch (and some probiotics) to that sandwich you’re prepping for lunch at work tomorrow!
Once you’ve tried a few of these ideas, or at least read the recipes, it should give you a jumping off point for your own creations. If you try something and you like it, be sure to tag me on Instagram. I’ll share it to inspire your fellow CSA’ers!