In the new diet I’ve been given, I’m supposed to eat a LOT of spinach. Basically there seems to be spinach with every meal. I have to admit, as big of a vegetable eater as I am (I love every one of them, with the exception of broccoli rabe), spinach is my least favorite. I think it’s watery, tastes grassy and flat most of the time, no matter how much I season it with garlic, salt, pepper, chili flakes, what have you. Being in the food industry and a weekly vendor at several farmers markets in my community, I am fortunate enough to have a close relationship with many farmers, and one of them gave me a “present” the other day. He introduced tatsoi to me. This looks very much like spinach, but has a bit more peppery and spicy flavor with a a crunchier and more interesting texture. Tat soi to me is an all around more excited green, and you can use it the same way you would use spinach; in salads, soups, stir fries and as a side to your protein. Tatsoi looks like a flat rosette with tender, dark green, spoon-shaped leaves and short light green stalks. Here’s a picture of it that I took of my bunch:
Tat soi is native to China and widely cultivated in Japan, it is considered an ancient green. Tat soi also goes by other names such as flat cabbage, spoon cabbage or rosette bok choy. It’s a member of the brassica family along with broccoli, collard greens, brussels sprouts and kale. Tat soi is most similar in taste to mustard greens (although not as strong) and in texture to bok choy.
Here’s a recipe, adapted from epicurious.com incorporating tat soi that I would like to try:
Mix first 7 ingredients in medium glass bowl.
Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. (Sauce can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat).
Add shallot; stir 1 minute. Add tatsoi; sprinkle with salt. Toss until tatsoi is wilted but still bright green, about 2 minutes; divide among 4 plates.Place fish atop tatsoi.
Sprinkle each fillet with carrot; drizzle each with 2 tablespoons sauce. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.