Sunday, May 8, 2011

Komatsuna: a discovery worth sharing

Washed komatsuna leaves ready to be added to a salad.
This year we planted lots of asian greens at Alleycat Acres' Beacon Hill garden, including a few types I have never tasted. Daring I know, but hey, I like to live on the wild side.

Anyhow, one of these "new" types we tried out was 'Komatsuna', which, similar to bok choy, is a brassica or mustard green. After direct seeding, it was one of the first things to come up. In a spring when even the radishes have been scared to poke there cotyledons up into the chilly, wet world, komatsuna and I have been off to a good start, simply on the merrit that it has been growing. Yesterday, I tasted it for the first time and just about died with happiness. It's sweet, slightly sour, and very tender. My husband described it as tasting like a cross between spinach and bok choy, but it doesn't make your mouth feel funny like raw spinach does. I haven't been able to stop talking about it, and here I am, writing about this edible leaf to the whole interweb world. What can I say, I'm easily excited by plants. At yesterday's Alleycat work party we harvested the outer leaves of the Komatsuna plants along with some radishes (finally!) and some kale.

Komatsuna, radish, chive, and chicken salad with sesame vinaigrette.
This afternoon I prepared a nice salad of raw komatsuna leaves, sliced radish, chives, and shredded chicken with a sesame vinaigrette. Delicious.

Based on some internet browsing, it looks like komatsuna can either be eaten raw or cooked, similar to many greens like spinach, chard, and bok choy.

I think the seed we used came from Seeds of Change, but I'm not sure because earlier today I thought we got it from Territorial Seed company (great seeds for Northwest gardeners). Either way, here's a link to the Seeds of Change catalog description of komatsuna greens Seeds of Change: komatsuna

More of yesterday's harvest: radishes.
Have you discovered anything new for your garden or dinner plate this spring? Do share.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Kate!
    I was looking over my notes from last year and my radishes also came up later than last year! Thanks for the description on the Asian green, I have a seed packet of a similar kind, need to plant it.
    I was searching for a direct contact for you, can't find one, can you e-mail me at agnes.p.cwalina at gmail.com?

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  2. My husband bought komatsuna to plant for the first time this year. My research brought up three types: Komatsuna, Hybrid Sharaku and Komatsuna, Tokyo Early and Hybrid Senposai.

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