Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Tale of Tat Soi

Last Saturday, with warm weather still lingering in Middle Tennessee like a summer cold, I was on a mission.

My goal: to find some summer-y type produce at the West Nashville Farmer's Market.

Parsnips, turnips, and butternut squash just don't have much appeal for me when the temperatures are still in the 80s.

I wanted tomatoes! Corn! And I was craving watermelon, but I knew that wasn't gonna happen. The best I could hope for was a few straggly tomatoes, I knew...and then I checked my Facebook before heading out.

There it was, a post from the Farmer's Market. They really know how to reel you in with tantalizing descriptions of kettle corn and homemade marshmallows, but what intrigued me was their comment about Delvin Farms' purple-green tat soi.

I'd never even heard of tat soi--yet, even though it wasn't a summer vegetable I was still intrigued.

So once at the market, I headed straight to Delvin Farms' booth.

And there it was...tat soi. It was indeed purply green, and came in huge bunches with spoon-shaped leaves of varying sizes. I asked the worker about it--could I cook it like kale?

Her answer was yes, so I bought a double bunch for a mere $3. That seemed a small price for something so intriguing, and suddenly straggly tomatoes weren't so appealing anymore.

Once home, I decided to search the internet for recipes using tat soi and came across this gem at, a recipe for gingery sauteed tat soi with tofu steaks. The recipe was simple, sounded tasty--and, I happened to have all the ingredients on hand.

A bit more research uncovered the facts that tat soi can be used as a salad green, that it is highly nutritious, and also that it can grow in temps down to 15 degrees and harvested in the snow--what could be more perfect since next growing season I will be in Chicago?

Here are a few pics of the tatsoi and the dish. I loved the zing of the lime and the zip of the ginger, and the brown sugar cut the saltiness of the soy sauce. All in all, it was a perfect healthy meal.
And now the temperatures are cooler, so I feel more inclined to cook with homey (and homely) root vegetables and make comforting soups. When I go back to the market on Saturday I am purchasing more tat soi and will try it in soup.

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