TATSOI

Crisp, refreshing, slightly bitter, with a cool suggestion of zesty sweetness as the aftertaste; Tatsoi reminds me slightly of a cross between young mustard greens and watercress. 

tatsoisaladTatsoi is an Asian green that is also sometimes called Spinach Mustard. It is a member of the Brassica family, so imparts all the healthy goodness of its veggie compadres, cabbage, broccoli and brussels sprouts. It is a very attractive plant with its deep green leaves, complemented by light colored veins and stalks. Tatsoi is indigenous to China but initially gained popularity through Japanese cuisine. It is now making its way around the globe as an interesting addition to palatable greens and can be found more and more readily in U.S. markets.

From a culinary perspective, Tatsoi can be used much the same way as spinach. Add it to fresh salads for an interesting complexity of flavor. It can also be stirred into soups or sautéed up with other veggies. 

pizzaandgreens

I used it as a fresh pizza topping last night, mixed up with some fresh basil and it was quite tasty.

From a health perspective, Tatsoi has so many of the same fantastic benefits of its brassica mates. It is rich in vitamins and minerals. Calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, all contribute to healthy bones, tissue, and blood, as well as nervous system balance. Vitamins A, C, and K and beta carotene contribute to overall health and wellness. Adding tatsoi to your diet can help manage systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, and boost immune function. 

One word of caution...tatsoi, as with all brassicas, contains progoitrin, which with significant consumption can impact thyroid function. Just one more reason to be sure you are eating a wide variety of foods rather than consuming the same old thing every day. (: