Mizuna, Where Have You Been All My Life?

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    In keeping with the current “new year, new discoveries” theme in my kitchen, I procured some mizuna at the market.

     

    In keeping with the current “new year, new discoveries” theme in my kitchen, I procured some mizuna at the market.

     

    This long, leafy mustard green, indigenous to Japan, has the peppery bite of arugula paired with the slight bitterness and snap of a frisée. Its peak harvest season is now, but it is a robust green and can withstand cold temperatures, excessive rain and significant heat — so it has the potential to be grown year round.

     

    Mizuna packs a nutritional punch; it’s high in vitamin C, folate and iron. It can be tossed into salads, stir fries, pasta and soups. Consider it an exotic substitute for cabbage, kale or collard greens.

     

    Seeking to experience a straightforward version of the vegetable in my inaugural taste, I went for a basic sauté. It worked well, and the bowl was empty when dinner ended.

     

    Sauteed Mizuna

    Serves 4-6

     

    2 large bunches of mizuna, rinsed, stems removed

    2 cloves garlic, crushed

    1 tablespoon canola oil

    Salt and red pepper flakes to taste

     

    1.     In a large skillet, heat the oil, garlic, salt and pepper flakes.

    2.     Add the mizuna and stir, turning over with tongs to cook evenly. The greens should be cooked in about five minutes.