Friday, October 24, 2014


by Andrea Yoder
Tat Soi with Garlic
Tat soi is a unique fall vegetable we look forward to every year, both for its beauty and its flavor. You’ll recognize the tat soi in your box this week as the large, flat, flower-like green. Tat soi is related to bok choi and mustard greens. It has dark green, spoon-shaped leaves that grow from a main base on the plant. The leaves are tender and very flavorful with a mild, sweet mustard flavor. The stem of the tat soi is edible as well and you’ll find it to be sweet and crispy since this is where the plant stores most of its sugars.

We intentionally plant this green late in the season with the intention to harvest it from the field as late as possible. This year it is a little early, but it should survive into November. As the temperatures start to decrease, the plant lays itself flat to hug the ground for warmth. The result is a very open, flat rosette that is a gorgeous deep, dark green. Tat soi is very resilient to cold temperatures and can recover after being frozen. If you see some leaves on the outside of your tat soi that have a whitish hue to them, this is a little bit of frost damage. If you can be forgiving of a few frosted leaves, I think you’ll be very happy with the flavor of this green.

Tat soi can be eaten raw or cooked. As a raw vegetable, tat soi makes a delicious salad. Combined with other veggies such as carrots, beauty heart or daikon radishes, carrots, and cabbage, tat soi only needs a light, simple vinaigrette to enhance its rich flavors. It can also be lightly sautéed, stir-fried or steamed, similar to bok choi. Tat soi pairs well with onions, garlic, mushrooms, winter radishes, carrots, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice, cilantro, toasted almonds and sesame seeds. It adds a wonderful flavor and texture to brothy soups such as hot and sour soup or a basic chicken and rice soup.

To prepare tat soi for use, turn it over with the bottom facing up and carefully trim each stem from the base. Wash the stems and leaves vigorously in a sink of clean, cold water. Remember, tat soi lives very close to the ground so there is often dirt on the stems at the base of the plant. Once the leaves and stems are clean, spin them dry in a salad spinner or loosely wrap them in a large kitchen towel and shake them to remove excess water. If you are cooking the greens, it is a good idea to trim the stems from the leaves and put them in the pan first to give them a 1-2 minute head start before you add the leafy portion. To store your tat soi, place it in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.

Winter Greens Salad with 
Carrot-Ginger Dressing
Recipe adapted from one published in the October 2014 Yoga Journal magazine. 

Serves 4
2 medium carrots, grated (about 1 cup packed)
3 Tbsp sesame oil
⅓ cup sunflower oil
2 Tbsp peeled ginger, chopped
2 Tbsp rice vinegar or apple-cider vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp honey
Salt & Ground black pepper, to taste
6-8 cups Tat soi, cut into bite-sized pieces

Additional salad toppings of your choosing may include: sliced onions, radishes, nuts or seeds and chicken or fish.

In a blender or food processor, process carrots, oils, ginger, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce and honey until smooth. Thin the dressing with ¼ to ½ cup water if desired. Toss the dressing in a bowl with the greens and any other salad toppings and serve immediately. You may also refrigerate dressing in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Moroccan Stuffed Squash
Recipe borrowed from Sara Forte's book, The Sprouted Kitchen-A Tastier Take on Whole Foods.

 Serves 4
2 medium sugar dumpling or festival squash
3 Tbsp coconut oil, divided
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup quinoa
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
1 tsp sweet paprika
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
½ cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup feta cheese, plus more for garnish
½ cup chopped toasted pistachios (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Rub 1 Tbsp of the coconut oil on the cut sides of the squash halves and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet and pierce the skin a few times with a fork. Roast for 20 minutes. Flip them over and continue cooking, cut side up, until you can easily poke a knife through the flesh at its thickest part, another 10 to 20 minutes depending on its size. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  2. While the squash are cooking, bring the coconut milk to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the quinoa, turn the heat down to a simmer and cover. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the quinoa steam in the pot for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp coconut oil, the paprika, coriander, and cumin to the quinoa and toss to combine. Add the lemon zest, mint, cilantro, orange juice, pomegranate seeds and feta and toss together. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
  3. Divide the mixture between the cavities of the squash. Garnish with a sprinkle of feta and the pistachios. Serve immediately.

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