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Red mizuna is defined by its unique shape, texture, and flavor. Its fragile and thin rhubarb-colored stems produce crimson-tinged elongated leaves with a saw-tooth shape and a feather-thin texture. The leaves are preferred for their flavor-forward notes of mustard and tanginess of sorrel.
Red mizuna's most appropriate use is as an ingredient within salads, yet it can also be cooked. The stalks and leaves should be separated and cooked independently due to invariably different cook times. Mizuna is a common stir fry and soup ingredient, and it can be adapted to most recipes calling for mustard greens or even cabbage. More modern and atypical uses include adding the leaves as a topping to pizza, tossing into pasta, blending into pesto, and adding to a sandwich or burger. Companion ingredients include apples, pears, peaches, figs, citrus, nuts, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, chiles, basil, mint, cream, cheeses, tomatoes, zucchini, and grains.
Refrigerate unwashed mizuna in a plastic bag in the vegetable crisper for up to 5 days.
Mizuna and Pea Pasta
8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
4 shallots peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 cups shelled fresh or frozen English peas defrost peas if frozen
3-4 cups mizuna
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese plus more for topping
Salt and pepper to taste
3 radishes thinly sliced