Thursday, April 10, 2014

CSA Spotlight: Meet Mizuna + a Recipe

As we go through the CSA season, I figured I'd spotlight something from the box each week...and I'll provide a recipe for what I did with it. Last week, I shined the spotlight on Celery Root. Today: Mizuna.


Meet Mizuna - Mizuna, also called Japanese mustard, is a leafy green that has spiky leaves and the bitterness of arugula but the heft of watercress. At least that's how I would describe it. It's actually a variety of brassica rapa (Napa cabbage). Like cabbage or arugula, you can easily use it both raw or cooked. I opted to use it raw, in a pesto.


Pesto is a sauce that originated in the Ligurian region of northern Italy. Pesto genovese, from Genoa, traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil, and pine nuts blended with olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano The name derives from the Italian verb pestare which means to pound or to crush, referring to the original way of preparing it - with a mortar and pestle. The ingredients in a traditional pesto are ground with a circular motion of the pestle in the mortar. Now I use a blender. It's much easier!

Mizuna Pesto


Though my 10-year-old could eat pesto every day, it isn't one of Jake's favorites. So I don't make it very often. But when I saw a bunch in my CSA box from High Ground Organics this week, I decided to make a definitively non-traditional pesto, using mizuna greens and almonds instead of basil and pine nuts.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch mizuna greens
  • 1 T crushed garlic
  • 1/2 C ground almonds
  • 1/2 C shredded parmesan
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fleur de sel
Procedure
Place all of the ingredients into the blender. Pulse a few times, drizzle in olive oil, and resume pulsing.  Pulse. Oil. Pulse. Oil.

If you want a smoother, sauce-like pesto, add more olive oil and blend longer; if you want a chunkier pesto, use less oil and blend for less time.  So simple. So fresh. So fragrant.

You can use this in pesto-filled potatoes or tossed into pasta. I served ours in a penne alongside a roasted salmon for dinner tonight.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, i'm growing Mizuna for the first time this year. So i thought, i'll try to make pesto of it. And now i found you experiment on it:) So I will try your recipe. Or maybe i make it a little bit different, don't know yet, but thanks for an idea:)

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