The herbal, slightly bitter flavour of chrysanthemum greens is balanced by the walnuts’ rich creaminess to create a truly memorable taste experience.
Chrysanthemum greens are commonly used in East Asian cuisine, but with the growing interest in washoku in recent years, this unique plant is gradually making more of an appearance in the kitchen. Its stalk and leaves are replete with vitamins, calcium and chlorophyll.
Chrysanthemum greens are a favourite in Japanese nabe (hot pot) dishes, but can also be enjoyed raw in salads, and even fried as a tempura ingredient. They work really well as an addition to aemono (chopped fish, shellfish or vegetables topped with sauce) topped with a sesame, miso or mayonnaise dressing.
For variety, you can also replace the chrysanthemum greens in this recipe with watercress, spinach or string beans, and use peanuts or sesame seeds instead of walnuts.
Chrysanthemum greens . . . one bunch (about 200 grams)
Cut off the stems of the chrysanthemum greens.
Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and the chrysanthemum greens and cook until slightly wilted, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water, then squeeze out the excess liquid.
Grind the walnuts with a pestle and mortar to desired texture. A hand blender would also work, but make sure not to overblend if you want to keep a little crunchiness. Combine with the miso and sugar and mix well, adding soy sauce to taste.
Chop the chrysanthemum greens and add them to the dressing, mixing well.