I am not a fan of mixed bouquets of flowers unless I gather them myself. Left without a choice, I buy more than one bunch and separate the flowers into types, displaying them in multiple vases. That’s what I thought about this collection of mustard greens dubbed “spicy mix” that I brought home from our CSA. Green tatsoi, tiny red Osaka, tiny leaves of green curly mustard, tender blousy leaves of pale green mustard, frisée-like red mustard. I selected the latter in abundance from the bin since I thought it would be good as salad greens. The other mustards were more worthy of a stir-fry. This combination of greens is sometimes called “braising mix,” a preparation that would be overkill for such a fresh bunch of greens.
I had a nice hunk of locally fished albacore tuna, which I coated with black sesame seeds (I normally use a combination of black and white but black is all I had on hand). Placed in a pan with vegetable oil over high heat, the steak was cooked on one side and then the other until well browned but still raw in the middle. Fish continues to cook after being removed from the stove, so after letting it sit for 1 minute, I sliced it and set it aside while I assembled the rest of the meal.
I made a “dressing” of 2 tablespoons each of Asian fish sauce and soy sauce, combined with 1 tbsp brown sugar, which I used throughout the dish. I quickly – and I mean instantaneously – stir-fried the mustard greens just to wilt them and sprinkled on the dressing. I combined a small bit of dressing with rice, and piled the cooked greens and then the tuna on top, and surrounded it with the frizzy mustard, sprinkled with a little more dressing. The dressing held the dish together while allowing the flavors and textures of the other ingredients to have their own voice. The black sesame seeds and the dark spidery mustard seemed a little spooky but why not play with your food at Halloween?