Red Mizuna Lettuce
Inventory, bunch : 0
This item was last sold on : 12/22/16
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Red Mizuna is available year-round.
Red Mizuna, scientific name, Brassica rapa nipponosica, is a cool season Japanese leafy type mustard green. It is often sold in seed catalogs under the name "mesclun mix", a spicy blend including European greens such as arugula, orach and radicchio. Red Mizuna can also be found in Western supermarkets within pre-packaged and cut lettuce mixes, its uniquely textured and bright flavored leaves mingling with lesser flavored greens such as iceberg, romaine, spinach and mache. In farmers markets throughout the world it is sold in bunches, stems attached. Its rise in commercial popularity is due to global Asian populations and consumer palates desiring more flavor and texture from their greens.
Red Mizuna is defined by its unique shape, texture and flavor. Its fragile and thin rhubarb colored stems produce crimson-tinged elongated leaves with a saw-tooth shape and a feather-thin texture. The leaves are preferred for their flavor forward notes of mustard and tanginess of sorrel.
The dark chlorophyll-laden green leaves of Mizuna offer most of the plant's nutrition which provide beta carotene and minerals. Red Mizuna is also high in vitamin C, folate, and iron.
Red Mizuna's most appropriate use is as an ingredient within salads, yet it can also be cooked. The stalks and leaves should be separated and cooked independently due to invariably different cook times. Mizuna is a common stir fry and soup ingredient and it can be adapted to most recipes calling for mustard greens or even cabbage. More modern and atypical uses include adding the leaves as a topping to pizza, tossed into pasta, blending into a pesto and adding to a sandwich or burger. Companion ingredients include apples, pears, peaches, figs, citrus, nuts, light bodied vinegars, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, chiles, basil, mint, bacon, cream, hard aged and melting cheeses, tomatoes, zucchini and grains such as farro and wild rice.
In Japan, Red Mizuna is often pickled. The leafy parts are salted and chopped, then stirred into rice. Stalk pieces are steeped in salt, sugar and rice vinegar for roughly 48 hours and then served as an appetizer or small bite with cold beer.
Red Mizuna is native to China, though it is considered a Japanese green as it has been cultivated there for several centuries. It has been naturalized in continental Asia and in both temperate and cold-hardy climates throughout the world. It can tolerate sub-zero temperatures, extensive rain and even heat, thus it can be cultivated year round. It can be harvested within 6 weeks of sowing, another growing advantage.
Recipes that include Red Mizuna Lettuce. One is easiest, three is harder.
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