Monday, March 26, 2012

Glorious Greens! Purple Mizuna and Dinosaur Kale Salad

I am falling in love with greens.
Our trip to Amy's Farm really helped.
You know I've been a huge fan of arugula for ages.
And a nice red leaf lettuce in my salad makes me happy.
I even like some Swiss chard in my soup.
But I'm not really sure about greens beyond that.
Collard greens?  Kale?  Mustard greens?  
Can you really make that stuff taste good?

Nevertheless, I left Amy's Farm with a basket full of greens.
Their farm stand is full of really good veggies.
Our guide at the farm, Farmer Heidi, loaded me up, tantalizing me with her tales of the most amazing salad ever.
I packed a basket full.

The salad started with Purple Mizuna greens.
"You're going to love it," she promised me.
It sounds exotic.
It is.  A bit.
Purple Mizuna is from the Asian greens family.
It is full of vitamins A and C and rich in folic acid.
It is supposed to be mildly peppery--less peppery than arugula.
I didn't find it to be peppery.
But the flavor was really, really good.
There just isn't anything like a fresh picked lettuce or green.
If you've never experienced it, grow some lettuce in a pot and then pick it for a salad.
You never knew lettuce had a taste, did you?
You just thought it was salad bowl filler.
But it's more, baby.  Much more.

"And you have to add this Dinosaur Kale," Heidi added, handing me a bunch.
"Kale?" I thought.
"In my salad?"
But I took it because I didn't want to seem like a food coward.
And because I like a challenge.

Then Farmer Heidi proceeded to write down the rest of the recipe, including the home made dressing.
I couldn't wait to get home and make it for my late lunch.
Which I did.

It only took a few minutes to put it all together, dressing included.
And man, oh man, it was good!
Kale and all.

I made another big bowl of it for dinner and Aaron declared it one of the best salads ever.
I wanted more the very next day.
I've made trips to 2 different farmer's markets and Whole Foods, searching for Purple Mizuna and Dinosaur Kale.
No dice.
Amy's Farm is about 45 mins from my house, or I'd just hop in the car and visit their stand.
I'm craving these greens now.
I have hopes that the greens lady at the Sunday farmer's market might have the Purple Mizuna.
And I have hopes that I'll be able to make it there to see her next weekend.
A sick baby and rain kept me away this weekend.

I guess the other option is to plant my own.
I found the seeds here and here.
I think I want a raised bed dedicated just to greens.
Cause we're eating them a lot now.
And not just in salads.
The other night I made this with some Swiss Chard.
It was so delicious that Aaron and I fought over who had the last helping.
I'm craving some right now.
That's saying something people.
Thank you, Farmer Heidi, for the inspiration!

So tell me, what's your favorite way to eat greens?
Love from,

If you find these greens, you must make this salad.
If you can't find the greens,  at least make the dressing.
It is soooo good!
It's worth it.

Recipe for Mizuna and Kale Salad
For the salad:
1 Bunch Purple Mizuna greens
1 Bunch Dionsaur Kale, ribs removed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup candied pecans (or other nut of your choice)
6 oz of feta cheese, crumbled.

For the dressing:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Put ingredients in a jar and shake until combined.

Prepare greens by washing and tearing into bite sized pieces.
Add fruit, nuts and cheese.
Dress salad now, if preparing to serve it right away.


just jen said...

I like my greens lightly stir-fried w/olive oil and garlic sprinkled w/feta cheese. My go-to summer lunch.

If you haven't already you HAVE to try kale chips. yum! (tear into "chip-sized" pieces, lightly toss w/olive oil + salt, spread out on pan in a 400F oven for 10 minutes but watch closely as they go from not quite done to burnt VERY quickly) So. Good. Your kids'll love'em too!

Betsi* said...

I also make a variation of the garlic greens with Swiss Chard, but I toss it with Greek yogurt. I'm craving some!
That dressing is the same dressing I make for my salads! It's the kind my mom has always made.

kim said...

Yum! Thanks for sharing. :-)

mandi said...

I too am a greens fanatic. And you made a salad out of two of my favorites. We've been CSA members for about 5 years now and I love how my cravings match the seasons. All that to say, I understand your greens cravings!
Delicious kale- I cannot get enough you!

meg + andy said...

Absolutely inspiring! way to be courageous. thanks :)