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Arugula and Mizuna: What’s what?

29 May

Mizuna, a member of the mustard family, has a delicate, feather-like (or sometimes described as sawtooth) multi-pronged pale to medium-green leaf on a whitish stem. You’ve probably seen baby mizuna in mesclun or salad mixes in stores or at restaurants.

Mizuna in the field.

Arugula, also a member of the mustard family, has a broader, darker green leaf, on a green stem, and although its leaves, too, are kind of sawtoothed, the tips are more rounded, rather like an oak leaf.

Arugula has a wonderful peppery flavor that I just adore. I can eat lots of it all by itself in a simple balsamic-dressing salad. Mizuna is a ‘bitter green,’ also flavorful, but I like to mix it with other things.

Fortunately, both greens are rather versatile, and can be used either as a salad green or in cooked dishes, so if you got them mixed up there likely would be no great harm done. Heck, try combining them! Put some of each in with your lettuce for a wonderful salad.

Arugula leaves.

In fact, here’s a salad I’d make with them: wash, spin and blot or air dry a bunch of arugula, mizuna and lettuce. Tear into bite-size pieces and dump into a big bowl. Thinly slice some English cucumbers and add to the mix. Wash, top, and quarter several strawberries and add too. Make a simple fruity or balsamic dressing: balsamic or fruity vinegar*, a little dijon mustard, a little salt, some lemon juice (optional), and some oil – a nice nut oil if you have one (I have a roasted walnut oil I love!). Dress the salad with this and eat it! Optional additions: toasted walnuts, crumbled feta cheese or chevre, some very thinly sliced fresh onion.

*Like raspberry or blackberry; sometimes I’ll just add a dab of honey to apple cider vinegar to achieve the ‘fruitiness’ I’m looking for.

Arugula Ideas
Many Mizuna Ideas.

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