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From the Gardyn Kitchen: Cooking with Tatsoi

Gardyn exclusive recipe by Chef Katie McCall

Back in 2005, I had the unique opportunity to visit South America for nearly a month. During that time, I spent seven days, deep in the Amazon rainforest, surrounded by lush green forest, exotic plants, squawking birds, and a whole host of crawling critters.

 

Today, when I glanced at my overflowing Gardyn, dripping with beautiful greens, herbs, and vegetables, I was instantly transported back to the rainforest and inspired to create a fabulous fresh dish with multifaceted flavors.

 

So, let’s talk tatsoi!

 

It might be an unfamiliar word, but surprisingly, this spinach-like green has deep-seated roots in ancient Asian culture — dating back to 16th Century China. 

 

Though native to China, tatsoi was also cultivated in Japan for centuries, and as a cool-weather crop (often harvested in the snow) this green provided nourishment year-round. Mineral and nutrient-rich, we, too, can enjoy the benefits of tatsoi; it’s chock-full of iron, vitamins A, C, and K, folate, fiber, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, beta-carotene, and phytonutrients.

 

Power-packed with all that goodness – what’s not to love? 

 

Also referred to as rosette bok choy, tat soy, spinach mustard, or spoon mustard (hence its unique, spoon-like shaped leaves), tatsoi belongs to the Brassica family — along with mustard greens and Brussels sprouts. 

 

And while we typically expect sharp undertones from this family, tatsoi’s pleasant, buttery texture and mild, almost sweet, nutty flavor make it the perfect accompaniment to an array of dishes, including soups, stir-fry, or gently sautéed alongside fish, tofu, and chicken.

 

Here, I’m making tatsoi the star of the dish in a raw garden salad — retaining its natural beauty and flavor to boot. With bright, fresh herbs, crunchy vegetables, salty peanuts, and a dressing that highlights classic Asian flavors (soy, ginger, sesame, garlic) — this salad is anything but ordinary.

RAW TATSOI & HERB SALAD + GINGER-SESAME DRESSING

Serves 1 – 2

Gardyn Original Recipe curated by Katie McCall

Ingredients:

2 cups Tatsoi, whole leaves

1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

1 small green onion, sliced thin

1 carrot, peeled into ribbons

4 sweet peppers, sliced thin into matchsticks

1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts, chopped 

Dressing:

1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar 

1 Tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/2 fresh lime, juiced

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

2-3 grinds fresh black pepper

Sea salt (to finish)

Red pepper flake (*optional; to finish)

Instructions:

 

Make dressing:

In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, olive oil, honey, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic powder, grated ginger, and black pepper. Shake in the jar until emulsified; set aside or refrigerate until ready for use. 

Prepare vegetables:

Harvest tatsoi from your Gardyn, retaining 1 – 2 inches of the stem. Rinse gently with cool water, pat dry with a towel, and set aside. 

 

Lightly chop herbs and green onion. Set aside.

 

Wash, peel and dispose of the carrot’s outer skin. Then, with the same hand-peeler, peel long, ribbon-like strips of the carrot and set them aside.

 

Remove the stem and seeds from the sweet peppers. Slice into large flat pieces, and then again into tiny, thin matchsticks. Set aside. 

 

To assemble:

Delicately layer the tatsoi, carrots, peppers, onions, herbs, and half of the peanuts. Drizzle with the desired amount of dressing, a sprinkle of sea salt, and *red pepper flake. Toss gently to coat salad in dressing. Garnish with remaining peanuts and serve. 

Gardyn ingredients used in this recipe:

About the Chef:

 

Katie McCall joins the Gardyn table on a mission to inspire and explore a “kinder” and more sustainable approach to living.

 

Food writer, Le Cordon Bleu grad,  gluten-free bakery owner, and editor of Two Wild Seeds, Katie McCall has roots working with restaurants on the Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list in Chicago, Illinois.

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