The Mystery of Mustard Greens

Thanks to our high tunnel, Mustard Greens are already in season at Sunny Hill Farm.  These hardy, spicy greens have a long season, as they grow in both chilly weather and heat, and they are relatively free from pests and diseases.  They are very easy to grow.  Many people seem unsure, however, about how to eat them.

(We are referring to the greens here.  The condiment “prepared mustard” is made with ground-up seeds from the mustard plant.)

Giant Red Mustard

Mustard greens have a unique spicy, radish-y flavor that diminishes only slightly when cooked.  They come in a few different varieties of shape and color.  We like to grow two types, the broad-leaved ‘Giant Red’ type, and the feathery ‘Ruby Streaks’ variety.  Giant Red is excellent both raw and for cooking, while the fronds of Ruby Streaks add heft and texture to your raw dishes.

Ruby Streaks

Mustard Greens can be enjoyed raw in salads, or sauteed, braised or boiled to cook.

To prepare them, remove the stems and layer whole in your pan or chop.

They can be sauteed in some olive or other oil, salt, garlic, onion, whatever you like for flavor.

To braise: Bring 4 cups water or stock, and 1 tsp salt to boil in a med pan or skillet with lid. Add about 1 lb mustard leaves, turning with tongs until they wilt down enough to fit in the pan.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but not mushy,  about 10 mins.  Drain and serve with butter, vinegar, whatever you like.

For an extra-yummy treat, fry about 6 slices of bacon in the pan before adding the greens and cook down and directed.

Mustard Greens with Chickpeas and Curry (from The Joy Of Cooking, 1997 ed.)

In a large skillet, heat:

2 Tbs melted butter, ghee or veg oil


2 med onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp ground cumin

Cook, stirring over med heat until onions are softened, about 5 mins.

Stir in:

1 lg bunch (about 12 oz) prepared greens

Cook until wilted, about 15 mins.  Stir in:

1 Tbs mild curry powder

1/2 tsp both ground ginger and ground coriander

1/4 tsp ground red pepper

1/4 cup chicken or veggie stock, or water

Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer  and add:

1lb cooked chick peas

14 oz diced tomatoes with juice

1/2 tsp salt

Cook, stirring often, til greens are tender, about 15 mins.

Serve as a side dish, or over rice for dinner for two.

Mustard greens are super healthy.  They are quite high in vitamin A and have a good dose of C as well. And all greens are a terrific source of iron and calcium.

Add some color, zip and a nutritional boost to your meals by adding in some Mustard Greens.  When you fall in love with them, you’ll find them an easy addition to your garden as well! 🙂

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