The farmers market closest to my place opened this past Thursday and Scott and I set up a little booth to sell some of our products. We woke up early to the sound of pouring rain, but luckily by the time we left our house at 7am it had slowed to a light sprinkle. The opening day went pretty well for how un-lovely the weather was and I came home with an armload of fresh, local produce.
This time of year the farmers markets are bursting with so many different kinds of greens, many which I've never heard of. I came home with a beautiful bunch of Russian red leaf kale, some spring onions, and a small bunch of what I thought was mibuna. Yes, that's mibuna, not mizuna. I didn't get a chance to chat up the seller about what these greens were, but I happily brought them home anyway.
I searched around the good ol' internet to find a way to use my new mibuna greens, but there was not much to be found. Then I saw some images of what they were calling mibuna and mine didn't match up; it looked much closer to mizuna. I soon found out they are related, but I think I must have actually picked up mizuna instead. If anyone can tell me I'd love to know for sure!
I really wanted to use the greens in more of a meal type salad than a side salad. I wanted to combine some kind of grain alongside slightly wilted greens with a bright tasting dressing. This salad came out exactly that. I took my inspiration from a salad I found from Yotam Ottolenghi's website. He combines his with an orange dressing, but I'm not particularly fond of many orange flavored recipes, so I used lemon instead. Also, his green of choice was rocket, but I thought the mizuna (mibuna?) would fit right in.
This salad comes together as quick as it takes to make rice, but I think it would be even quicker if you already have some left over grains to use up in the refrigerator. I used unsulfured apricots, because well, we can all use less preservatives in our food these days and they have a very different flavor that I kind of like better anyways, but feel free to use which ever. I cooked some of the greens down a little, but you can leave them fresh if you'd like.
Quinoa and Mibuna Salad with Lemon Pistachio Dressing
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 onion, sliced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
zest and juice of one lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
1/4 cup pistachio nuts, roasted and roughly chopped
1 bunch mibuna or other green like rocket
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the quinoa and rice in two separate saucepans, set aside.
While the grains are cooking, heat olive oil in a heavy pan, add the onion and cook until golden brown. Stir in about 3/4 of the mibuna bunch, cook until it just begins to wilt, about 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat, add the rest of the greens. Set aside and allow to cool.
In a large bowl mix together the lemon juice and zest, garlic, spring onions, apricots, and pistachios. Stir in the quinoa, brown rice, and onion and greens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.