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Baby Tatsoi
A Sassy New Green 

Why baby?  Baby greens are harvested when they're at their peak for taste, tenderness, and color. They are carefully picked when young so their flavors and colors remain lively and intense.  

Baby tatsoi has a mild, mustardy flavor and tastes like a cross between spinach and bok choy.  When young, it looks like little green roses. It has dark-green, spoon-shaped leaves and white stalks. This versatile Chinese green is delicious when included in stir-fry or when served raw in salads. Like any green, it is high in anti-oxidants and packed full of vitamins and minerals. 

If you'd like to try this usual green, look for leaves that are crisp, have a fresh dark-green color, and seem light for their size.  Pass up specimens that are yellow or wilting.  When you get your baby tatsoi home, store the leaves by wrapping them gently in slightly damp paper towels.  Seal them in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Before using, rinse the leaves in cool water to remove any dirt or grit.  Drain them on paper towels, pat them dry, or swirl them in a salad spinner.  

Here's a serving suggestion that made a big hit at my house.  

Baby Tatsoi Salad with Warmed Sea Scallops and Wasabi-Dried Peas 

For the sesame vinaigrette:  

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Chinese hot chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup sesame oil 

In a medium bowl, combine rice wine vinegar, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and sugar.
Add sesame oil slowly and whisk until emulsified.  

 For the scallops: 

1 tablespoon flour
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 pound  sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil 

In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, cumin, and cayenne.  Remove any tough muscle from scallops if necessary.  Roll scallops in flour mixture, coating evenly.  In a heavy skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until foam subsides.  Sauté scallops, until golden and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove from skillet, place on paper towels, to drain.  Cool slightly.  

For the salad:  

8 cups baby tatsoi
1 cup shelled edamame, about 8 ounces
½ cup soy nuts
1 cup wasabi-dried peas
2 large avocados, sliced 

In a large serving bowl, place tatsoi, edamame, soy nuts, peas, and avocados.  Drizzle with vinaigrette, top with cooled scallops, and toss gently to combine.  Serves 4.  

Carol Ann Kates is the author of award-winning cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market, selected as one of the top ten favorite cookbooks by the Denver Post Food Staff.  For more information see www.secretrecipesfromthecornermarket.com

 

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