Entrees/ Grow It Cook It/ Recipes/ Sides/ vegetarian recipes

Spring Mizuna & Pea Pasta

Spring Mizuna & Pea Pasta

Spring Mizuna & Pea Pasta

Spring is a wonderful – yet often stressful – time of year to be a farmer. The unfolding of a new season is always filled with mixed emotions. The days are hectic but the fast-approaching summer feels like the light at the end of a dark tunnel. The best part about working on our farm during the spring is the promise of a fresh meal and an ice cold beer at the end of a hard day.

Spring Mizuna & Pea Pasta
My husband and I operate a six-acre organic vegetable farm in Parkdale, Oregon. We grow over 50 different varieties of vegetables that we sell to local restaurants, farmers markets, and to our CSA members. We usually take winters off from farm work and I always look forward to my first bite of fresh spring greens after a few months away from production.

Now that the winter slumber party is over, I am ecstatic about all of our spring bounty. With the abundance of produce popping up around the farm, our dinners have been absolutely wonderful. One of the first spring vegetables making their seasonal debut at our farm is the lovely and flavorful green, mizuna.

Spring Mizuna & Pea Pasta
If you aren’t familiar with mizuna, you are in for a real treat! Mizuna is a Japanese green that is part of the brassica family. It has a mild, peppery flavor with a hint of spice. It is easy to grow, has great germination, and even re-grows again when harvested as cut-and-come-again (just leave about one inch worth of growth at the bottom).

It can handle full sunlight, but prefers a little bit of shade. The only downside to growing this leafy green is that the flea beetles tend to love this stuff as much as we do. (I can’t blame them!)

We usually cover our mizuna directly after seeding. However, depending on where you live, the flea beetles may not be as bad. I always recommend asking fellow gardeners/local farmers for advice if you are unsure about potential pests in your area and you are thinking about planting something new or are just starting your own garden. And hey, if you don’t feel like getting dirty, don’t worry about it. Just run to your local farmers market, pick up a bunch of mizuna, and head straight for your kitchen.

This pasta recipe came to me when I was hungry and craving the mizuna I was harvesting for the farmers market. As it turns out, extreme hunger, dehydration, and too many hours spent hunched in the dirt can result in amazing recipe development!

Spring Mizuna & Pea Pasta
I hope you all enjoy this pasta dish as much as my husband and I do. It’s simple, fresh, and can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes. Pair this pasta with a glass of your favorite white wine and you have yourself a five-star meal that is affordable and delicious. Cheers!

Print

Spring Mizuna & Pea Pasta

Spring Mizuna & Pea Pasta

Peppery mizuna, sweet peas, and crunchy radishes punctuate this easy springtime pasta. Can’t find mizuna locally? Arugula will work too!

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh or frozen English peas (defrost peas if frozen)
  • 3-4 cups mizuna, lightly packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, plus more for topping
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 radishes, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Set a large pot of lightly salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, according to package directions, until al dente. Carefully scoop out 1/2 cup of the pasta water and reserve. Drain the pasta.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and peas and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. If you’re using fresh peas, they should turn bright green.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the cooked pasta along with the 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add the mizuna, crushed red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, and feta cheese and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mizuna begins to wilt, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve with sliced radishes and a sprinkle of feta cheese.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4 servings

You Might Also Like

13 Comments

  • Reply
    Julia
    June 8, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Yaaaaay Andrea!!! So happy to see you here on OMV! This pasta looks amazing! I’ve never used Mizuna and now you have me inspired to try it! xoxo

    • Reply
      Andrea
      June 8, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      Yay!! so happy to be here! XO

  • Reply
    How to Philosophize with Cake
    June 8, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Oooh that looks yummy! Love all of the fresh vegetables in here, looks like it would be very light and fresh. 🙂

    • Reply
      Andrea
      June 8, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      Light and fresh is the way to go in the springtime!

  • Reply
    Courtney @ The Fig Tree
    June 8, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    What a fantastic feature!!! I really enjoy Dishing Up the Dirt and am so happy to see you on OMV, Andrea! Looking forward to giving mizuna a try! The pasta looks delicious! Just got some fresh radishes in my organic delivery. I’ll put them to good use and give this a try 🙂

    • Reply
      Andrea
      June 8, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      Thanks Courtney! I’m so thrilled to be contributing here as well 🙂

  • Reply
    Millie l Add A Lttle
    June 8, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I love Mizuna and this pasta looks so delicious and light – perfect pasta salad! I might try this out for a packed lunch some time 🙂

    • Reply
      Andrea
      June 8, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      Let me know how you like it 🙂

  • Reply
    Michelle
    June 9, 2014 at 3:19 am

    Oh, to be able to grow things! I am from Oregon, and grew up with a huge vegetable garden at my parents’ house. I am living in Asia now (for the past 5 years), and I can’t even get basil to grow on my patio because I have to travel too often and can’t get it on a good watering schedule 🙁

  • Reply
    Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe
    June 9, 2014 at 6:42 am

    I’m a little bit ashamed to admit I had never heard much about mizuna before and I’m totally new to it. But now you’ve not only made me curious to try it out in the kitchen, I actually can’t wait to start my own little garden, too! Sounds like such a rewarding activity!

    xo, Elisa

  • Reply
    Erica {Coffee & Quinoa}
    June 9, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Who better to write this series than you? 🙂 So happy to see your posts here!

  • Reply
    Joanne
    June 12, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    I had mizuna for the first time in my CSA a few years ago and loved its bitterness! I’m sure it’s mellowed out a bit by the past and sweet peas, making it a totally flavor-balanced meal! And so beautifully green.

  • Reply
    Daniela
    April 6, 2015 at 3:11 am

    That looks delicious! *.* I was wondering, can the Mizuna be replaced with another green? Sadly, I doubt I’ll be able to find Mizuna here where I live 🙁

  • Leave a Reply