The other week, I was emptying my CSA box into my bag and the mystery green above was staring back at me. One of the things with this whole CSA deal is that I have all these vegetables that I’ve never heard of. Did you know that there are literally endless varieties of squash? Me either! Did you know that carrots don’t just come in baby form? Well, I did know that, but I still received a shockingly huge carrot at some point that didn’t have a nice carrot shape and it really threw me off. Anyway, I digress. I think tatsoi is strictly a CSA vegetable because when I googled recipes for it, I got a bunch of blogs that were talking about their CSA. Okay, that’s probably not true, but seriously, I’ve literally never heard of this green.
I know I seem whiney, but honestly, I’ve really enjoyed the CSA experience and having to eat brand new to me vegetables and trying new recipes. The other fun thing about the CSA is that my fellow CSA people and I have started exchanging recipes for everything. My friend had told me about putting it in a stir-fry, which was my initial plan. After a search on Google, I found a recipe that tickled my fancy even more. One of the fun things about this recipe is that it uses browned butter. A quick aside on browned butter. I feel like it’s become a somewhat trendy item that’s been showing up in dishes. One time I was putting butter in a pan to start off a dish and sort of forgot about it and I think that’s the only time I’ve actually browned butter. The entire kitchen smelled wonderfully nutty and you could really taste it. So the short story is, be a little patient with the butter–I would recommend putting a pan over low heat and walking away for a couple of minutes. Be somewhat cognizant as you don’t want it to burn, but don’t rush the browning.
Anyway, back to the dish at hand. This was really wonderful. I think tatsoi is like a very mild bok choy type vegetable, but it goes really well in this recipe. I’ve made it twice and the second time I added some crushed red pepper (completely the Indian in me!) and I like the extra kick, but it tastes great without it as well. I’m not sure if you could find this in stores, but I bet farmer’s markets will have it and the first time I made it I also threw in some Swiss Chard that was wilting to death, so that or even baby spinach would work as a good sub. Another plus about this dish is that it’s super fast. While you’re making the pasta, you can start the sauce and can have dinner on the table within 30 minutes. I love having a fast dish that also uses some fresh greens for quick healthy mid-week meal. Fantastic!
Browned Butter Pasta with Tatsoi
adapted from Backyard Farming
1/2 lb of whole wheat rotini
1/2 stick unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
Leaves of 2 to 3 bunches of tatsoi, rinsed
Crushed Red Pepper flakes
Freshly grated parmesan
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente.
When pasta is almost done cooking, melt butter in a pan. As butter foams, drain pasta and set aside. When the butter has browned, add to the pan and toss until coated. Add tatsoi and crushed red pepper if using. When the tatsoi has wilted, turn off heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with grated parmesan.