Are you looking for a new variety of salad to sow and where you can taste the results in just 30 days? We have the solution for you: mizuna, a Japanese cabbage that looks like arugula, but with a unique and subtle taste. It is not a popular plant, but it deserves a place in your vegetable garden, even on the balcony. Today, we will become familiar with this Japanese product as well as a delicious, easy-to-make recipe.
Mizuna is becoming a trendy product in the culinary world
What is Mizuna?
In fact, it is a very old Japanese variety which has been brought up to date by great chefs around the world. Visually, you will recognize it by its green leaves which are arranged in a rosette. Its hardiness (until – 12) ensures its status as a winter salad. Mizuna grows quickly, its germination is limited to just a few days. Moreover, once the little sprigs have grown, they become part of micro plants which are used as decoration on many plates in trendy restaurants. Here is an interesting fact that you can use to impress your guests. It is one of the few vegetables that was grown in space as part of a NASA experiment.
In addition, it will provide a little greenery at the start of winter in the vegetable garden.
Health benefits and taste qualities
But we love this plant not only for its decorative effect. Mizuna is high in vitamin A, which is great for eye health and strengthening the immune system. This salad has antioxidant properties as well as vitamin K and C content. The taste is slightly spicy, but much less than that of arugula. The texture is crunchy in the mouth. There are purple varieties which have a stronger mustard taste and which are also rich in calcium.
To make the most of its benefits, it is better to consume it raw.
When and how to sow it?
You can start sowing in April for an early spring harvest. But autumn is also the ideal time to start sowing and have a good harvest in winter. So you can start now. Sow seeds every 20 days in order to have an uninterrupted harvest. It is important to note that it can be grown indoors all year round and is ideal for growing in pots on the balcony. Note that in the garden, the mizuna fears slugs.
If you have a little space in the vegetable garden, don’t hesitate to try this plant with its exotic flavors
Maintenance of the Mizuna
To develop your plant well, you must provide it with sunny exposure. Mizuna is not demanding on the soil as long as it is well moist. It belongs to the Brassicaceae family, if you practice crop rotation. To harvest it, you have to remove the leaves of about ten centimeters, gradually. New shoots will appear in a few weeks. We still advise you to eat the leaves when they are young, because the taste is better.
A photo from NASA which shows the Mizuna which traveled into space
Super Easy Winter Dope Recipe
You can eat this Japanese cabbage raw in salad or cooked for a sauce or side dish. You can even make a soup or use it to enhance the flavor of your marinades. I decided to share a seasonal recipe: winter pesto with Mizuna cabbage. It is simple and perfect to accompany your pasta with products freshly picked from the garden.
- 250 gr of Mizuna cabbage
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic or powder for those who don’t like its strong taste.
- Walnut kernels – 75 g.
- Olive oil – 4 tbsp.
- 75 g grated parmesan or another substitute.
- Salt and pepper
This is where things get tricky, you put everything in a blender. That’s it, you can add it to your pasta or on toast. You can also use carrot tops instead of mizuna. Finally, if you want to try new things, this is what you need.
Try new flavors with Mizuna pesto
Your sandwiches will have a tangier taste with a few Mizuna leaves