The meandering thoughts of a modern-day hearth witch.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Allotment Tales // Rocket and Mizuna

Currently, we have more salad leaves than we know what to do with down at our allotment. We pick some every two or three days to have accompanying our meals and it just keeps growing in abundance!

This year sowed some rows of mixed leaves seeds and also some rocket on its own. What would grow from the mixed leaves was down to luck and the elements. This year we seem to have an abundance of mizuna.

Mizuna is an oriental salad leaf, sometimes also known as Japanese Greens or Japanese Mustard, because of its peppery taste. It is similar to rocket in that sense, but its leaves are more feathery. It grows vigorously and the stalks can get rather thick very quickly. As you can stir-fry them as well as eating them raw, this isn't really a problem. The smaller, tender leaves are great on their own or dressed simply with a bit of oil and balsamic or lemon juice. As it is a 'cut-and-come-again' variety, if you grow a patch, it should keep you going all through the summer. 

Rocket is a bit trickier to grow - it isn't as vociferous in our patch and seems to be a real favourite for little beasties to chomp their way through. For this reason, I've started growing some more in a tray on the windowsill as well as outside. Most of what I pick from the allotment has tiny holes in it! A good wash and it's absolutely fine to eat, however, and I absolutely love its deep, peppery flavour with a few slices of parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic. It is rich in Vitamin C and potassium as well, and has long been considered an aphrodisiac!

What are you picking from your gardens and allotments this week?

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