What the heck is Mizuna? That’s the first question I asked when they arrived in my CSA farm fresh crop share. What is a CSA(crop share)? One question at a time please!
Mizuna is a Japanese plant that is basically a cross between arugula and mustard greens. In fact it has much of the flavour profile of both of those greens. Heaven I say! That’s a two in one of awesomeness! Bonus that it is in season right now. Can’t find mizuna greens? That’s ok. I’ve got you covered (you owe me a follow). Use half arugula and half mustard greens. Bingo bango bongo.
So what do you do with Mizuna? Well you throw it under some bosc pears seared in duck fat, some roasted sweet peppers (the little guys if you can find em), a sausage medley (any of your favourites will do) and top it with a Creamy Vegan Dijon dressing. Yeah, I know. Stop it, right?!?!
I love fruit in a salad and this salad is no exception. I often sear larger fruit in my salads though. Why? Well I like that it softens the fruit, which is great for some of the harder fruits, but it also concentrates the flavour and caramelizes the sugar on the outside for a little flavour punch in the mouth. I use duck fat in this recipe because anything cooked in duck fat it delicious but if you are a little concerned about the duck fat, sub olive oil. No problemo.
The small peppers were a sweet little find in a tiny farmers market in a parking lot just outside of the Rogers Centre. The colour immediately caught my and later the flavour would catch my mouth. Cover these little bad boys (sweet bad boys) with some olive oil and grill until slightly soft and bubbly. Don’t worry about the seeds. Just eat them. They won’t harm you, trust me.
Cremini mushrooms. I love these little guys. I like to lightly drizzle them with olive oil and let them sit for a few minutes to draw out some moisture, then throw them on a hot skillet for a sear. They turn out so sweet. I don’t know if it’s the salt or the mushroom itself, or both. Doesn’t matter. I am not going to argue the science with anyone at this point. It’s just delicious. Try it.
I use sausage in this recipe mainly because it was in the fridge. I am glad I did. You could easily sub in chicken breast cut into strips and be just as happy. I will say that having a medley of sausage did add some adventure as there was a different flavour with every bit. Like a surf and turf without the surf. Just turf and turf.
The Creamy Vegan Dijon Dressing was a no brainer for me. I knew that the sausages needed mustard. Sausages = mustard. I think it’s written in the code of the universe or something. The Germans will also argue that sausages = beer, but that is another post altogether. This dressing pairs perfectly with all of the ingredients and gives the salad a little kick from the dijon. If it’s missing something you really like, throw it in, then share. Don’t be greedy. I like to hear about it.
So grab a tissue, wipe the drool from your face, and start making this right now! Why are you still reading this and not moving to the recipe below? Test, try, change, share below.
By now you’ve realized I haven’t explained what the CSA Crop Share is. That was on purpose because I want you to focus on the food. CSA is a great concept and I have been involved with a local farmer for 3 years now. Basically you give the farmer money at the beginning of the year that buys you veggies and goods for an agreed upon length of time (typically the growing season). It’s a great way to introduce yourself to new veggies and it helps support a local farmer AND you get the veggies at a discount over buying them at the market. Win-Win!! Now get back to cooking!
Sausage Medley on Fresh Greens with Vegan Salad Dressing
A fresh summer salad that’s both filling and delicious!
- 4 of your favourite sausages (I used 2 Smoky Beef and 2 Garlic Chicken)
- 12 small sweet peppers of mixed colour (If you can’t find small peppers, you can sub large peppers cut into chunks. Don’t cut until after roasting)
- 2-3 cups of cremini mushrooms
- 2 bosc pears
- duck fat (or any flavourful fat of your choice: coconut, olive, etc) but seriously just get the duck fat
- 1/4 cup Creamy Vegan Dijon dressing (recipe below)
- 1 bunch of mizuna greens (enough for 2-3 people. If you can’t get mizuna greens, as many of you probably can’t, sub half arugula and half mustard greens. See what I did there? Basically the same flavour profile with two different greens. Bam! Mind blown.)
Creamy Vegan Dijon Dressing
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp grated garlic
- 1 tbsp tarragon (finely chopped)
- Whip up the dressing as outlined in the recipe below. Store in the fridge until ready to use. Try hard not to “accidentally” get your finger in it so you have an excuse to eat it.
- Wash cremini mushrooms and cut into quarters. Spray/drizzle with oil, add salt and toss to coat. Make sure you do this in the beginning so they can sit on the counter for 20+ minutes. The salt has a magical way of drawing out the sweetness!
- Wash the bosc pears (can sub other pears), quarter, and remove core.
- Wash your greens and spin/pat dry. Set aside.
- Fire up the BBQ and get it ready to roast some peppers. (I’d aim for 350C)
- Wash the peppers, pat dry, and coat with olive oil.
- Begin roasting peppers.
- When peppers start to brown and blister, flip to a fresh side. You want to do this on all sides.
- When blistered and browned on all sides, remove and set aside covered with foil (if you are using large peppers, cut into chunks at this point and remove seeds and stem. You can eat the seeds of the little guys. You won’t even notice….much).
- Heat a skillet on med to med-high and add duck fat (or oil of your choice).
- Fry cremini mushrooms until golden brown.
- Remove mushrooms, cover and set aside.
- You don’t have to increase the temp on your BBQ but at this point I like to aim for 400C-450C. Do this while the skillet is heating up.
- Add sausages to the BBQ.
- As the sausages start to cook, add pears to the same skillet you cooked the mushrooms in, cut side down and cook until browned. Then flip to other cut side and brown that side. At the same time, flip your sausages to cook as evenly as possible on all sides.
- When the sausages reach 165C internal (or when your spidey senses start tingling), remove and cover with foil.
- When the pears are browned on both sides, remove and cover.
- Now it’s time to assemble this bad boy. Place your greens in a bowl or on a platter/board.
- Place the peppers on top, then the pears (don’t be afraid to get crazy and experimental here), and then sprinkle the mushrooms about on top of that (get even more crazy).
- Cut the sausages each into 3 pieces. Spread about on top of the greens, pears, peppers, and mushrooms.
- Throw the Cream Dijon Dressing over the top. Use as much as you think you’ll need. If you’ve tasted it (as I know you have!) and you think it is on the strong side, then use less dressing. If you love the dressing like I do, pour it into a glass and drink it. KIDDING! Use more on top of the medley.
- Sit down and enjoy!
Creamy Vegan Dijon Dressing
- grate garlic clove on the fine holes of a box grater or hand grater
- finely chop the tarragon
- add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk thoroughly
- sliced large peppers can be substituted for the small peppers
- sub olive oil instead of duck fat
- sub arugula and mustard greens for mizuna