Have you ever tried mustard greens?
Related to kale, cabbage, and collard greens, they are the peppery leafy greens of the mustard plant and are used frequently in Chinese, Japanese, and Indian cooking.
What Do Mustard Greens Taste Like?
I find them less bitter than kale or collard greens, and more peppery, like arugula.
Just one taste of a raw leaf and you'll know it came from a mustard plant. Cooked, they taste a lot like spinach but with more body.
My father recently discovered mustard greens at our local farmers market, and they're his new love.
What to Do With Mustard Greens
I like them with a dash of dark sesame oil, but you could easily just cook them up with a little garlic and olive oil.
Do you have a favorite way to prepare mustard greens? Please let us know about it in the comments.
Mustard Greens Are Brassicas
Mustard greens belong to the overwhelmingly large brassica family. There are several types of mustards, native to different regions, and more closely related to other brassicas. The particular type we’re talking about here is Brassica juncea. It goes by many names, some you might be familiar with are: Indian mustard, Chinese mustard, leaf mustard, or brown mustard. Brassica juncea is native to India, and there are tons of varieties of it, a large number of which (including the first) were cultivated in China, near Sichuan.
All parts of the mustard plant — leaves, seeds, flowers, stems — are edible, no matter the type. The seeds are what we turn into the tangy condiment, and what gets pressed into oil. (The mustard that’s commercially grown to be made into the tangy condiment is Sinapis alba, not what we’re talking about today, but fun to know.) Brassica juncea are major commercial spice or oilseed crops; on the non-industrial scale, small farmers and home gardeners grow all kinds of these mustards just to enjoy as greens.
When Are Mustard Greens in Season?
Mustard greens are in season in the cooler growing months — spring into early summer and then again with a second planting in the fall. They don't take too well to summer's intense heat. They're easy to grow, and leaves regrow after they've been harvested. As they mature, mustard greens become more bitter. To avoid bitterness, choose mustard greens that are harvested young. And they often survive the first frost and have more mellow flavors when harvested after the frost.
Buying Mustard Greens
Buy mustard greens at the farmers market, Asian markets, or traditional grocery stores. Look for leaves that are fresh, crisp, and vibrantly green, not wilted or yellow. For mellower flavors, choose smaller leaves. For stronger flavors, choose larger leaves.
Storing Mustard Greens
Store mustard greens in the crisper drawer, either in a bag or a lidded container lined with a paper towel. Keep them dry (no water droplets hanging out on them), and small loose leaves will keep up to 5 days, bunches of large mustards could last up to 1 week.
How to Clean Mustard Greens
Clean mustard green leaves right before cooking. Place them in a bowl full of cold water and swirl them around to remove any dirt on the leaves. Then, allow them to float in the water for a few minutes. Any dirt should sink to the bottom of the bowl. Remove and pat dry before preparing the greens.
More Delicious Ways to Eat Your Greens!
- Collard Greens
- Sauteed Greens With Pine Nuts and Raisins
- Easy Pasta With Winter Greens
- Watercress Salad With Warm Bacon Dressing
- Creamed Spinach
1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound mustard greens, washed, large stems removed, leaves torn into large pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons chicken broth, or vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Saute the onions and garlic:
In a large saute pan, saute onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 10 minutes.
Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant.
Add the greens:
Add the mustard greens and broth. Cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted.
Finish and serve:
Remove from heat. Toss the greens with sesame oil and season with salt and pepper.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 4g||5%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||3%|
|Total Carbohydrate 9g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||15%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 81mg||407%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|