Family Dinner Plan: Nettles and Mizuna and other things green

This time of year our Mystery Boxes from Mariquita Farms are full of greens. Kale, spinach, baby romaine lettuce, which are easy and familiar to us, and the more unusual varieties like mizuna, rapini and even a special purchase of nettles! The stinging kind.

[Check it out – some of these greens and things are new to me (and maybe you), so I have linked them to definitions and more pictures to help us learn about these fun vegetables. You will know something has a link to follow because it is underlined and a different color (maybe red, maybe blue, maybe purple, I am not sure). The links will open a new browser window, so don’t panic. Linking is good, there is a lot of interesting information out there in the internet-with-a-capital-I.]

BTW, after doing this research, I think I have been erroneously referring to Baby Broccoli as Broccoli Rabe. Apparently Rapini is another name for Broccoli Rabe, and it is just leafy looking greens, without any of the broccoli bits. Don’t tell my husband – he hates broccoli but I can regularly get him to eat broccoli by calling it Broccoli Rabe!

Our box from Mariquita Farms had Spring Garlic, Little Gem Lettuce, Yellow Carrots, Baby Broccoli, Spinach, Savoy Cabbage, Mizuna (pictured above), Rapini, Radishes, Scallions, Red Beets and Lacinto Kale, along with a special purchase of Stinging Nettles. The kale has already been dispatched to a baked kale chip recipe I especially like. I sauteed some of the broccoli last week, and served it room temperature with sesame oil for lunch. The mizuna is so young that it is really easy in a salad with Little Gem lettuce and lightly dressed with good olive oil. The nettles were used in a pizza rustica Saturday night with friends (always try new recipes out when you are with friends. Spreads the pain joy around!).

We also had a box of fruit from Happy Child CSA this week, and much of that can be used for our menu plan this week. I will toss grapefruit segments in the mizuna and Little Gem lettuce salad, along with a Fuerte avocado. The Navel oranges make a great glass or two of juice for breakfast, and the Pink Lady apples and Kiwi are perfect for lunches. The apples are truly outstanding, the flavor is so unique!

Here is my menu plan for the rest of the week:

Cookie of the Week: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sunday: Pork chops, roast carrots and beets, sauteed broccoli, mizuna and Little Gem lettuce salad

(Meatless) Monday: Dinner out between basketball game and Jazz band concert

Tuesday: Cookbook Dinner Club – we are cooking from Around my French Table, by Dorie Greenspan. Details to come later!

Wednesday: Baked Lebanese kibbe, fresh pita bread (fresh dough that I throw on the pizza stone to bake), veggies to chomp on, fruit salad

Thursday: Broccoli Calzones (using the remaining fresh dough) with pizza sauce

Friday: Take out and Trashy TV

Mariquita is about to start their season again, now is a good time to sign up for the 2012 CSA program. Fresh veggies every week, several convenient pickup locations, super friendly farmers!


  1. Your friend from Jap

    I’m so surprised to see Mizuna in your blog! They’re really popular in Japan, and we eat them both fresh and cooked.
    We normally boil them, but they taste spectacular fried, too.
    I know a great recipe and want to share it with you. It’s very simple.
    Firstly, you fry garlic and beacon in a pan. Then you add Mizuna, salt, chiken broth and pepper. Don’t cook Mizuna too well, because that will ruin their original taste. That’s it!
    You can take a look at the picture of this dish here↓ (The site is in Japanese.)


    1. Kitchen Gadget Girl

      Wonderful to hear from you!! And thank you for the Mizuna recipe. I really enjoyed this new green, hope we will have it more often. I like your recipe with bacon and garlic, sounds very tasty. Hope you are well!

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