Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Magically delicious

(amazing, I tell you)
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I think I've discovered my new favorite greens. Asian mustards!
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I bought a Thompson and Morgan (http://www.thompson-morgan.com/) seed packet marked "Salad Leaves: Niche Oriental Mixed". But they are not lettuces- I didn't read the fine print until it started coming up looking decidedly unlike lettuce. Here's their seed mix--
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Golden Streaked Mustard
Red Streaked Mustard
Komatsuna
Mizuna
Skyrocket Arugula
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Holy Cow, it is just incredibly delicious. The nuttiness of the Skyrocket perfectly compliments the spiciness of the baby mustards. Lettuce, schmettuce- finally, a raw green I can really get behind. And if they get too peppery when they get bigger- into a stirfry or soup they go.
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I like to overplant my greens so I can thin for early nibbles, salads, garnish. The other day while I was thinning this mix, nary a leaf made it onto my plate. I ate them right up, except for the root and dirt, standing over the planter. Drooling, grunting, and sighing all the while. Ok, I exaggerate there. But it was heavenly, I tell you.
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I loved it so much that I went to Thomspon and Morgan on-line so I could reorder more, along with more Skyrocket alone. There's a reason arugula is so hoity-toity, so high-falutin'. It's freaking delicious, people. I say, bring on the elite greens. I WANT my greens to be elite, just like I want my president to be elite. Elite is a good thing. It means "superior". If I wanted dumb greens and dumb presidents- oh, wait...
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But I digress. For the mustards, I went to an Asian seed company I already knew of, called Kitazawa Seed Company (http://www.kitazawaseed.com/). They are one of the oldest specialty seed companies in America, dating from 1917. They were founded by a Japanese family in California to supply Japanese immigrant families with familiar vegetables for their home gardens. They have a really great list of greens, but their Asian veggie list is exhaustive. So, from Kitazawa I ordered the Komatsuna and Mizuna mustards listed by Thompson and Morgan (oddly, T & M doesn't sell these seeds seperately, only in their mix) as well as a few other mustard greens to try.
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This is the great thing about kitchen gardening. You are not bound to grow what you can already buy in the store, though even the most ordinary variety of letuce or tomato will certainly be better, fresher, and more nutritious than anything hauled 3,000 miles across the US. But with a little internet sleuthing, you can find some truly great specialty seed companies, eager to sell to you and help you expand your food horizons.
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And if you go to T & M, be sure to check out their Italian seed list!

2 comments:

Rabbits' Guy said...

It was bound to happen ... upscale, Martha Stewart Homesteading.

Oh well, beats having to eat your furniture in the dead of winter!

Let us know if the bunns like that stuff ... we'll plant some too.

ilex said...

Come on now, Rabbit Saint. Arugula seeds cost the same as any other leafy green seed- 500 seeds for about $3.

You mean to tell me that you'd feed your rabbits high-falutin' greens, but not yourself? You eat the leaves- give the buns the stems!