Hooray for the start of the CSA! I can finally start eating my vegetables again. Of course we have all been anxiously waiting for the familiar stand-bys, but one of my favorite things about getting vegetables from the CSA share is the variety of new vegetables that it exposes me to.
This week, we’ve got two veggies you might not be familiar with cooking: Tatsoi and Hakurei Turnips.
Tatsoi is an Asian cooking green closely related to bok choy. Its nickname is “spinach mustard,” which is appropriate since it has a spinach-like texture, and a mild mustardy flavor. It can be eaten raw in a salad, steamed, stir-fried, or thrown in a soup.
Hakurei (pronounced hawk-ur-eye) turnips are also Asian in origin. Sweet and tender, they are nothing like a big purple-top turnip you may be familiar with. No need to peel or cook, they can be eaten raw if you want. They do have a mild spiciness reminiscent of their cousin the radish. The greens can also be sauteed, but they tend to be on the bitter side.
Spring Stir-fry with Tatsoi and Turnips
To prepare hakurei turnips, trim the greens and the little roots from the bulbs of one bunch of turnips. Slice the turnips thinly.
In a very hot wok or large frying pan, melt one tablespoon coconut oil (or other vegetable oil). Add prepped hakruei turnips and one bunch of spring onions (including the green parts, roughly chopped). Stir-fry until turnips are tender, about 4 minutes.
While turnips and spring onions are cooking, roughly chop leaves and stems of one bunch of tatsoi. Add to hot pan and cook until stems are tender and greens are just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Toss vegetables in 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and 2 teaspoons light vinegar (such as rice wine vinegar, apple cider, or white wine vinegar). For the spice lovers out there, try adding a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Serve over quick-cooking rice noodles or hearty brown rice. For more protein as a main dish, add stir-fried chicken or tofu.
Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as side dish
Text and photography by Kate Darlington – Blooming Glen Farm second year intern, Colorado native, and food lover.