Mustard Greens with Sesame Dressing

This is one of my favorite ways to prepare mustard greens. For a tea, serve them in a black lacquer box with gleaming black beans and steamed carrots cut in plum blossom shapes. Try the sauce in summer with tender green beans or tiny cherry tomatoes.

1/2 cup white sesame seeds
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon mirin
about 2 tablespoons unseasoned Dashi or water
1 pound mustard greens

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over low heat, stirring, just until they begin to pop and five off a wonderful aroma.

Grind them into a paste in a suribachi or food processor. Mix in the soy sauce, sake, and mirin. Thin with enough dashi or water to create a thick dressing.

Carefully wash the mustard greens. Steam them in a large pot for 5 to 8 minutes, until just tender. Drain and cool.

Spread about half the greens in a strip across a bamboo rolling mat, about 2 inches from the bottom. Fold the bottom of the mat over the greens and roll away from you, pressing firmly. When you come to the end of the roll, twist it over the sink to squeeze out all liquid. Press the roll back into shape, and unroll it. Cut the rolled greens into 1-inch pieces, and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Repeat with the remaining greens.

Toss the rolled greens with the sesame dressing. Serve at room temperature.

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