Tat Soi

So this year I decided I wanted to focus on a vegetable each week. I realise that some veggies are mystery veggies to you all. Or that even common veggies are seen on a shelf and not in the ground, so you may not know that a carrot grows under ground, or that broccoli looks like a mini tree… so I thought it would be fun to show you.

This week’s featured vegetable is tat soi. I grew it for the first time last year and it was a big hit in the CSA. I transplant these guys, but I could also direct sow them in the ground and harvest them as little leaves (like I do spinach) and they would grow again for a 2nd and maybe even 3rd cutting. However head harvesting is much more efficient for me.

What is it’s nutritional Value? Greens are high in fiber, vitamins, calcium and antioxidants.
What does it taste like? Well, I think it is a bit like spinach, but with more flavor. It is in the brassica family, so it has a tiny bit of mustard flavor, but hardly.

How do you eat it? You may eat this Asian green raw or cooked. Cut it up in your salad, put it in a soup, stir fry, casserole…Don’t over cook it though!

How can I store it? I bought those green veggie bags that absorb ethylene (the gas that a plant emits as it is aging), and they work great! Can buy them at FW Horsch in Brunswick. But you may also place then in a plastic bag in your crisper.

I hope you love it! I have a few succession plantings going so you will get it more this year than last (that was many’s request), but we will take a break in the heat of the summer and resume again in the fall. (HA! that is to say it usually isn’t this hot right now!)

Walking through the strawberry patch this afternoon, I was sooooo happy to see some shining yellow-centered flowers…and some small green fruits! The plants were alive with buzzing bees and hopefully with a little rain this weekend, we will get a nice crop. Whew! much better than I expected!

Some of you may notice that I am writing this on Saturday (I am NEVER this early!!!). This California weather has helped me to catch up quite a bit. I mean when there is so much sun and no rain, there really isn’t an excuse not to work. I have actually been enjoying the routine of starting at 6am, working til noon, breaking til 3 and then working til dark. It’s been the only way I have been able to transplant anything…right at dusk. Plus it allows me to catch up on paperwork midday in the cool of the house and not wilt along with the poor little plants.

This week’s loot: chives (you may have to remove some tough stems, but you can eat the flowers), sorrel, sage, tat soi, lettuce, spinach

Next week’s loot (yes we should have weekly pick ups now!!!): more greens and some herbs, I’ll let you know

Recipes: Alright so here’s the honest scoop. I find most of the recipes on the web, so much of the time I have never tried them before. BUT I do try to pick recipes that sound good, simple and include much of the ingredients you can get here at the farm. And to be totally honest…Zach is really the chef around here (I just make baked goods) and he rarely uses a recipe, so I can’t really duplicate his ability to make something out of “nothing”. So let me know if you like the recipe, or PLEASE let me know if you have one you’d like to share!

Browned Butter Pasta with Tatsoi Serves 2
Your pasta of choice, preferably curved or with ridges

1/2 stick unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
Leaves of 2 bunches of tatsoi, rinsed
1/2 cup chopped sage
Freshly grated Parmesan
Lemon wedges, optional

Cook pasta to al dente in salted water.
When pasta almost done done, melt butter in a skillet. Swirl the butter in the pan as it foams. (At this point, remove pasta from the heat and drain well in a colander.) When butter begins to brown, toss in pasta and mix to coat with butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Add tatsoi and sage and cook until slightly wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Plate and serve immediately with grated Parmesan and lemon wedges on the side.

Gingery Sauteed Tat-Soi with Tofu Steaks Serves 2

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into “steaks”
1 tablespoon sesame oil, divided
2 small bunches of tat-soi
1-2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

In a small bowl whisk all ingredients from soy sauce through cayenne pepper.In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Add tofu steaks; cook for 5-7 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove from skillet. Add remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil to skillet; add tat soi; once wilted, add sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook just until sauce slightly thickens.Divide greens on plates. Top with half of the tofu. Drizzle with remaining sauce, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Tat Soi and Mustard Dressing
12 oz. washed and chopped tatsoi
handful of chopped chives
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. olive oil
In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, mustard, salt and oil. In a wide skillet or wok combine tatsoi and dressing and saute until leaves are tende
r but stalks are still crunchy. Add scallion greens and toss. Arrange tatsoi on serving platter and drizzle with any remaining dressing from the pan.