- Planting Mustard Greens – How To Grow Mustard Greens
- How to Plant Mustard Greens
- How to Grow Mustard Greens
- Harvesting Mustard Greens
- How to Grow Mouth-Tingling Mustard Greens (and Seeds)
- Choosing a Which Type of Mustard to Grow
- When to Plant Mustard Greens
- Growing Mustard Greens
- Harvesting Mustard Greens and Seeds
- How to Use Mustard Greens and Seeds
- Recommended Varieties
- When to Plant
- Spacing & Depth
- Common Problems
- Questions & Answers
- Selection & Storage
- Nutritional Value & Health Benefits
- Preparation & Serving
- 8. Beet Greens
- 9. Kale
- 10. Sorrel
- Mustard Green Nutrition
- Selection and Storage of Mustard Greens
- Preparing Mustard Greens
- Mustard Greens with Garlic Mayonnaise
Planting Mustard Greens – How To Grow Mustard Greens
Growing mustards is something that may be unfamiliar to many gardeners, but this spicy green is quick and easy to grow. Planting mustard greens in your garden will help you add a healthy and tasty food to your vegetable garden harvest. Keep reading more to learn how to plant mustard greens and the steps for mustard greens growing.
How to Plant Mustard Greens
Planting mustard greens is done either from seed or from seedlings. Since growing mustard greens from seed is so easy, this is the most common way to plant mustard greens. However, young seedlings will work as well.
If you’ll be growing mustards from seed, you can start them outdoors three weeks before your last frost date. If you would like a more steady harvest, plant mustard green seeds about every three weeks to give you a successive harvest. Mustard greens will not grow well in the summer, so you should stop planting seeds a bit before the end of spring and start planting the mustard green seeds again in mid-summer for a fall harvest.
When planting mustard greens seeds, plant each seed just under the soil about a half inch apart. After the seeds sprout, thin the seedlings to 3 inches apart.
If you’re planting seedlings, plant them at 3-5 inches apart beginning three weeks before your last frost date. Like planting mustard green seeds, you can plant new seedlings every three weeks for a successive harvest.
How to Grow Mustard Greens
Mustard greens growing in your garden need little care. Give the plants plenty of sun or partial shade, and keep in mind that mustard greens like cool weather and grow rapidly. You can fertilize with a balanced fertilizer, but often these vegetables don’t need it in well amended vegetable garden soil.
Mustard greens need 2 inches of water a week. If you are not getting this much rainfall a week while growing mustards, then you can do additional watering.
Keep your mustard greens bed weed free, especially when they are small seedlings. The less competition they have from weeds, the better they will grow.
Harvesting Mustard Greens
You should harvest mustard greens while they’re still young and tender. Older leaves will get tough and increasingly bitter as they get older. Discard any yellow leaves that may appear on the plant.
Mustard greens are harvested one of two ways. You can either pick individual leaves and leave the plant to grow more, or the entire plant can be cut down to harvest all the leaves at once.
Quick Guide to Growing Mustard Greens
- Plant mustard greens during the cool temperatures of spring and fall. These tasty greens grow well in raised beds, containers, and in-ground gardens.
- Space plants 12 to 18 inches apart in an area that gets plenty of sunlight and has fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 6.8.
- Improve native soil by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter.
- Mustard greens can produce edible leaves quickly with a steady supply of water. Check soil moisture regularly and water when the top inch of soil becomes dry.
- After planting, encourage excellent leaf production by regularly feeding plants with a water-soluble plant food.
- Harvest mustard greens when leaves are large enough to eat.
Soil, Planting, and Care
Mustard leaves grow fast and most tender in moist, rich soil. Sun is ideal, but because they make only leaves and not fruit, they are a little more tolerant of shade than fruiting vegetables like tomatoes. Enrich the texture and nutrition of the planting area by mixing in three inches of compost or Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics™ All Purpose In-Ground Soil with the top six inches of existing soil. (A digging fork works well for this.) For pots, use a premium quality potting mix like Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics™ All Purpose Container Mix to help you get a big harvest. It always seems early when it’s time to plant mustard, but it pays to plan ahead. For fall harvests, set plants in the garden 4 to 6 weeks before the first expected frost. In spring, you can start about 4 weeks ahead of the last frost date and continue planting a little after.
If you’re looking for an impressive harvest down the road, skip the seeds and plant strong, vigorous Bonnie Plants® mustard greens instead. Our plants come thickly seeded in their pots. You may set them out as they are, but they will grow faster and give you more if you take a little time to separate the seedlings. Gently tease the seedlings apart into 3 to 6 clumps. Be careful not to tear up the roots. If they don’t tease apart gently, you can cut the clump in half with a knife and in half again. Space clumps 12 inches apart for traditional mustard greens, 12 to 18 inches apart for Japanese Giant Red Mustard (a slightly larger plant).
Mulch with wheat straw to keep plants moist. It takes about 10 to 12 plants to supply two people with fresh greens plus extra to freeze and use during warmer weather.
Mustard grows fast, so you can begin picking leaves in about 4 weeks, when the leaves are 6 to 8 inches long. Left alone, leaves reach their full size of 15 to 18 inches long in about 6 weeks. To maintain the rapid leafy growth and maximize your harvest, there’s one more thing you can do in addition to planting Bonnie Plants® in rich soil: Give your mustard plants regular doses of just the right nutrition. Feed with a liquid fertilizer like Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics™ All Purpose Plant Nutrition weekly if you are harvesting often, or bi-weekly otherwise.
If your family enjoys mustard greens, consider planting every 2 to 3 weeks for successive waves of young flavorful greens growing into prime size.
Remember, optimum growth and flavor depends on moist soil. When plants grow under stressful conditions such as drought or heat, the leaves can become unpleasantly spicy for most tastes. Keep the soil evenly moist.
How to Grow Mouth-Tingling Mustard Greens (and Seeds)
At nearly every fast food restaurant, hot dog stand, and backyard cookout, you’ll find a ubiquitous yellow bottle. Stored inside is a sweet-spicy condiment —ketchup’s trusted sidekick — made with seeds of the mustard plant.
But the crop is useful for more than just its seeds.
One cup of mustard greens boasts 500% of your daily value of vitamin K — which supports cardiovascular health and reduces inflammation — as well as high doses of vitamins A, C, and E, fiber, manganese, and more. (Mustard belongs to the Brassicaceae family, along with broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage, practically making it a superfood by default.)
Besides offering an array of health benefits, mustard adds a unique zing to salads, stir-fries, and other dishes. And in this guide, you’ll learn how easy it is to grow with Tower Garden.
Choosing a Which Type of Mustard to Grow
Though most Asian greens, such as bok choy and mizuna, are technically mustards, the species that actually carry the name “mustard” include:
- Black mustard (Brassica nigra) – Though its leaves are edible, B. nigra is usually grown for its seeds, which serve as the foundation of many moderately spicy mustards, including Dijon.
- White mustard (Brassica alba) – The mildest option, B. alba yields seeds that are perfect for mustards and preserved produce (e.g., pickles, relishes, chutneys).
- Brown mustard (Brassica juncea) – This one’s got a wasabi-like bite. Many curries and hot mustards contain the spicy greens and seeds of B. juncea.
You can’t go wrong with any of the options above. But if you’re not sure which to choose, we recommend starting with brown mustard varieties. They’re great for both seed and green production. (Opt for the “Red Giant” variety to add a bit of visual appeal to your garden.)
When to Plant Mustard Greens
Considered a cool-season crop — one that can even withstand light frosts — mustard grows best in the spring and fall.
If you’re growing mustard for its seeds, planting in the spring is ideal because the higher temperatures that come with summer trigger bolting and seed production. Conversely, planting around this time of year (i.e., late summer, leading into fall) is often better for the production of greens. Of course, you can also grow mustard any time of year indoors.
Start by planting about six seeds per rockwool cube. Mustard is very easy to germinate. In fact, under the right conditions, it may sprout in just one or two days. As soon as it does, give it lots of light to prevent weak, leggy growth.
Recommended: How to Grow Strong, Healthy Seedlings in 7 Steps “
Growing Mustard Greens
Once your seedlings are about three inches tall and have roots protruding from the rockwool cube, they’re ready to transplant.
Keep in mind that, though it prefers full sun, mustard will tolerate some shade. You can transplant mustard anywhere in your Tower Garden, including into the Micro Greens Extension Kit if you’d like to grow it as a colorful, zippy garnish.
After you’ve transplanted your mustard seedlings, you can sit back and relax — it’s a carefree crop to grow. Even pests tend to leave it alone. (But for good measure here are a few pest prevention best practices.)
Harvesting Mustard Greens and Seeds
Mustard greens grow quickly and can be ready to harvest in as few as 40 days. The most popular harvesting approach is known as the come-again-cut-again method. It’s called that because the technique allows the plant to keep growing and produce additional yields for months.
Here’s how it works:
- With a sharp knife or scissors, cut the bottommost, older leaves
- Take care to not damage the inner leaf tips
- Allow at least 2/3 of the foliage to remain
- Frequently return to harvest more and encourage new growth
If you’re growing the crop for seeds, the planting-to-harvest timeline will be a little longer. (To expedite the process, don’t harvest any greens.) But first you’ll see yellow or white flowers. Within a few days, those will give way to small green pods. Wait for these pods to dry, as indicated by browning. Once they do, you can either rub them between your palms or shake them inside a paper bag to release the seeds.
Fair warning: mustard yields a lot of tiny seeds.
How to Use Mustard Greens and Seeds
Young, raw mustard greens add a delightfully sharp tang in salads. But as the crop matures, most people prefer to cook (e.g., sauté, stir-fry) it because the larger leaves can be quite potent and tough.
Not sure what to do with the seeds? Try adding them to a dish that could use a little extra kick — such as an Indian curry — or mix them with a few other simple ingredients to create the popular condiment that borrows the plant’s name. (You can also save the seeds to grow next year’s crop.)
We hope this guide helps you grow the most amazing mustard you’ve ever tasted. (Or, at the very least, causes you to think of the condiment a little differently!)
If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you below.
Mustard greens can be eaten raw or cooked–steamed, sautéed, or simmered. Prepare mustard greens like spinach, but expect a stronger flavor.
The strongest tasting of the so-called bitter greens—mustard has a sharp, biting peppery taste that can sting like a strong radish. Even cooked mustard greens will have a “bite”.
The best mustard leaves for eating raw or for cooking are harvested young and tender. Consider the mustard green a sparing add-on to a green salad or mesclun. Cooked combine mustard greens with mashed potatoes or puréed legumes.
There are western and oriental or Asian mustard greens. The western mustards includes curly-leaf or common mustard which has a frilled oval leaves and mustard spinach which has large smooth dark green leaves that resemble spinach.
The Asian mustards include mizuna, a Japanese green with bright green fernlike leaves, mibuna with narrow, strap-like leaves, and komatsuna with spinach-shaped leaves.
Both the leaves and stalks of mustard greens can be eaten. But both will become tough and more pungent tasting as the weather warms.
Local season. Mustard greens are in peak season from mid-winter through mid spring, January through April in the northern hemisphere.
Choose. Select fresh mustard greens that are plump and crisp and have a rich green color. Avoid greens that are yellow, thick or fibrous, pitted or flabby. The best mustard greens are harvested young and tender.
Amount. Allow about ½ pound per person. Greens will cook down to ¼ to ⅛ their original volume.
Store. Mustard greens can be kept in a tightly sealed plastic bag in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator for up to a week. Store them unwashed until you are ready to use them. Mustard greens can be frozen like spinach.
Prepare. Wash greens just before using in a large bowl of lukewarm water in order to dislodge sand and dirt. Then cut off and discard the stems. You can remove the stems by folding the leaves in half and ripping out the stems.
Don’t dry the greens before cooking. The residual water will help them wilt as they cook.
Cook. You can cook mustard greens in just the water that clings to them after washing. Mustard greens are mostly water so they will shrink when they are cooked. Two large bunches will serve as a side dish for four people.
Avoid cooking mustard greens in aluminum or iron pots as they will turn black on contact with these metals.
Serve. Use young, tender mustard leaves alone in a salad or mixed with other greens. Mustard greens dress well with a little olive oil and vinegar.
Serve mustard greens alone or mixed with other greens or root vegetables. Top with pot likker, vinegar or vinaigrette dressing, onion, hard boiled egg, stewed tomatoes, blanched almonds, toasted bread crumbs, bacon or ham, or combinations of these.
Flavor Partners. Mustard green have a flavor affinity for aged grating cheese, bacon, corn, cornbread, curry, garlic, ham, hot sauce, lemon, onion, salt pork, smoked turkey, and vinegar.
Nutrition. Mustard greens are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, potassium, thiamine and riboflavin. One cup (140 grams) of cooked mustard greens contains 21 calories.
The botanical name of curled mustard greens is Brassica juncea; of komatsuma Brassica campestris.
Mustard (also known as mustard greens, spinach, leaf mustard and white mustard), is a quick-to-mature, easy-to-grow, cool-season vegetable for greens or salads. Although mustard is often associated with the Deep South, it is also suitable for gardens in the central and northern United States in the cool parts of the growing season. Mustard greens are high in vitamins A and C.
Florida Broadleaf (45 days to harvest; large leaves; slow to bolt)
Green Wave (45 days; dark green; heavily curled leaves; good in warm temperatures; very slow to bolt)
Southern Giant Curled (50 days; bright green, curly, crumpled leaves)
When to Plant
Plant early in the spring (3 weeks before the frost-free date) and again 3 weeks later. Plant from midsummer on for fall harvest. Fall plantings are usually of higher quality because they mature under cooler conditions in most locations.
Spacing & Depth
Sow seeds 1/3 to 1/2 inch deep and thin seedlings to 3 to 5 inches apart. Thinnings can be eaten.
Mustard should grow rapidly and without stopping. Fertilize, weed and water during dry periods.
Harvest the leaves when they are young and tender. Do not use wilted or yellowed leaves. You can cut the entire plant or pick individual leaves as they grow. The leaf texture becomes tough and the flavor strong in summer.
AphidsâWatch for buildup of colonies of aphids on the undersides of the leaves.
For more information on aphids, see our feature in the Bug Review.
Cabbage wormsâThree species of cabbage worms (imported cabbage worms, cabbage loopers and diamond back moth worms) commonly attack the leaves and heads of cabbage and related cole crops. Imported cabbage worms are velvety green caterpillars. The moth is white and commonly is seen during the day hovering over plants in the garden. Cabbage loopers (“measuring worms”) are smooth, light green caterpillars. The cabbage looper crawls by doubling up (to form a loop) and then moving the front of its body forward. The moth is brown and is most active at night. Diamondback worms are small, pale, green caterpillars that are pointed on both ends. The moth is gray, with diamond-shaped markings when the wings are closed. The damage caused by diamondback larvae looks like shot holes in the leaf.
The larval or worm stages of these insects cause damage by eating holes in the leaves. The adult moths or butterflies lay their eggs on the leaves but otherwise do not damage the plants. The worms are not easy to see because they are fairly small and blend with the cabbage leaves. Cabbage worms are quite destructive and can ruin the crop if not controlled. They are even worse in fall plantings than in spring gardens because the population has had several months to increase. About the time of the first frost in the fall, moth and caterpillar numbers finally begin to decline drastically.
For more information on cabbage worms, see our feature in the Bug Review.
Questions & Answers
Q. What causes flowers to develop in my spring mustard?
A. Mustard is a cool-season vegetable that naturally flowers during the long, warm days of summer. Pull and compost (or chop and work the spring planting back into the soil) when hot weather arrives and preferably, before flower stalks develop.
Q. What causes mustard leaves to have yellow blotches and be misshapen.
A. This condition is caused by downy mildew.
Selection & Storage
Also known as mustard greens, mustard is especially popular in southern states. Mustard is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family. It shares the same cancer-preventing benefits of broccoli, cabbage and kale. Mustard is a pungent winter vegetable, abundant when other vegetables are not in season.
Mustard greens can be eaten raw or cooked. The whole plant can be cut at once or individual outer leaves can be picked for a cut-and-come-again harvest. The young leaves, four to five inches long , are mild-flavored and can be eaten raw in salads. The older leaves taste better when prepared as cooked greens. Avoid yellow, over mature mustards with seeds or yellow flowers attached.
Store unwashed greens in plastic bags in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. They will keep for about three days. Wrap in moist paper towels for longer storage, up to five days. The flavor may intensify in the refrigerator during the longer five day storage.
Nutritional Value & Health Benefits
A member of the cruciferous vegetable family, mustard contains large amounts of beta carotene and vitamin C that are important antioxidants. Although scientists do not fully understand how, these vegetables seem to have cancer-preventive properties. Mustard greens are also a source of calcium that can be important to lactose intolerant individuals. Mustard greens also contain a significant amount of iron.
Nutrition Facts (1/2 cup cooked mustard greens)
Dietary Fiber 1.4 grams
Protein 1.6 grams
Carbohydrates 1.5 grams
Vitamin A 2121 IU
Vitamin C 18 mg
Folic acid 130 micrograms
Calcium 52 mg
Iron 0.5 mg
Potassium 140 mg
Preparation & Serving
Freezing is the best way to preserve an over abundance of mustard greens. Like other vegetables, mustard greens must be blanched before freezing. Blanching is simply the emersion into scalding water then into an ice water bath before freezing.
In a blanching pot or large pot with a tight fitting lid, bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil.
Meanwhile, wash greens, trim stem ends and cut into 1-inch pieces or leave whole.
Blanch no more than one pound at a time. Add greens to boiling water and immediately cover with a tight fitting lid.
Start timing immediately and blanch for three minutes.
Prepare an ice water bath in a large 5-quart container or the sink.
Remove greens from water with slotted a spoon or blanching basket.
Immerse in the ice water bath for five minutes or until cooled. If you do not have ice, use several changes of cold water or running cold water. Remove and drain.
Pack cold greens in zip-closure freezer bags or freezer containers. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing bags.
Label and date each container or bag. Immediately place in the freezer, allowing an inch of space around each container until it is frozen. Freeze for up to one year at 0 degrees F. or below.
Blanching water can be used over and over again. Add more water if necessary. Remember to always bring water back to a rolling boil before blanching more vegetables.
Garlicky Mustard Greens
- 3 pounds mustard greens
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped (about one cup)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, canned or homemade
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
Pick through the greens removing yellow, wilted greens and large tough stems and veins. Run the sink full of cool water and wash the greens in three changes of water. Fresh greens hold soil and dirt. Swishing the greens through the cold water removes grit the clinging grit. Drain. Stack several leaves; roll up jelly-roll style. Cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Repeat with remaining greens. Heat oil in Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook and stir for about 3 minutes. Stir in greens, red bell pepper and chicken broth. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low. Cook, covered for 20 to 25 minutes or until greens are tender. Young greens cook quickly, large older greens can take as long as 45 minutes to become tender. Add more water if needed. In a small bowl, combine vinegar and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Sprinkle over cooked greens, remove from heat. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.
Braised Mustard Greens with Smoked Turkey
The traditional southern preparation of mustard (and turnip) greens involves long, slow cooking with salt pork, bacon ends or ham hocks. This cooking method is high in both salt and fat. Tradition is difficult to break, however, similar results can be achieved by substituting smoked turkey parts and using garlicky oil rather than bacon fat. The following traditional southern recipe has been modified for your health in the 21st century.
- 1 smoked turkey leg or wing
In a large pot, cover the smoked turkey leg with water and bring to a boil. Boil for about five minutes, pour off the water, cover with fresh water and continue boiling until the turkey leg is tender. About one hour. Pierce with a fork to test for doneness. When cool, remove meat from the bone and chop, if desired or leave whole. Set aside.
While the turkey is cooking, prepare the mustard greens.
- 3 pounds young mustard greens
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
Pick through the greens removing yellow, wilted greens and large tough stems and veins. Fill the sink with cool water and wash the greens in three changes of water. Fresh greens hold soil and dirt. Swishing the greens through the cold water removes the clinging grit. Then drain.
While the greens drain, place a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, not smoking, add the garlic, red pepper flakes and chopped onions. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds. Add 2 cups water or the cooking liquid from the turkey leg. Bring to a boil. Add the washed greens to the boiling pot, one handful at a time. Use a long handled fork to push the greens down into the cooking water. If all the greens do not fit into the pot, cover for 2-3 minutes while the greens cook. The greens will cook down or shrink. Add more greens until all have been added to the pot. Continue cooking until the greens are tender. Young garden fresh mustard greens will cook in about 20 minutes. Older tougher greens will take longer, up to 45 minutes of cooking time.
Sample the greens after 20 minutes, if they are tender, add the chopped smoked turkey. Continue cooking until the turkey is heated, about 10 minutes. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve.
Makes 6 servings.
Note: Although the salt content was reduced by pouring off the first cooking water, the smoked turkey still contains an abundance of salt. More salt may not be needed, taste first.
Alternate names: Curled mustard, American mustard
Characteristics: The frilled, curly edges of this chartreuse green help make it stand out in a crowd. The seeds are used to make the condiment mustard. In the United States, mustard greens are an integral part of Southern cuisine, usually cooked or mixed with other cooking greens, like kale and collards. There are a number of Asian varieties, such as dai gai choy, bamboo mustard, and green-leafed mustard, all of which look nothing like the American version but still contribute a peppery bite to any dish.
8. Beet Greens
Characteristics: If you happen to purchase beets with the stems and leaves still intact, don’t discard the leafy tops. The leaves’ minerally taste will complement the root’s sweetness. If they are young, as shown above, beet greens can be eaten raw; otherwise, cook them as you would any other dark leafy green.
Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Beatrice Chastka, Food Styling by Olivia Mack Anderson
Alternate names: Borecole, cow cabbage, kail, curly kale, Tuscan kale, black kale, dinosaur, lacinato, cavolo nero
Characteristics: Kale, another form of cabbage, has leaves that look like they’re a mix between collard and mustard greens. As with many other dark leafy greens, kale tastes slightly bitter when eaten raw, but unlike some of its relatives, cooked kale won’t lose its general shape or texture, nor will its volume reduce dramatically. For whatever reason, many cuisines pair kale with potatoes, as in this colcannon recipe from Ireland.
Alternate names: Common sorrel, garden sorrel, broad-leaved sorrel, spinach dock, roselle, sour grass, sour dock
Characteristics: Sorrel’s delicate leaves impart a tart, acidic taste when eaten raw. The pleasingly sour flavor cuts the richness of creams and fats, and complements meats and fish, as in this pecan-crusted salmon with sorrel sauce. Sorrel is one of the more difficult greens to find in a grocery store in the United States, but it does pop up in farmers’ markets and specialty shops during the early summer months. It can be easy to confuse sorrel with more mature spinach or even arugula; look for a sword-like elongated and tapered shape.
1 / 63Chevron Chevron Green Goddess Buddha Bowl Bright and refreshing green goddess dressing perks up the grains in this delicious bowl, filled to the brim with all the green veggies. Use whatever herbs you’d like for the dressing, but tarragon is a classic addition that gives green goddess dressing its herbaceous kick. Get This Recipe
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Mustard greens are the leaves of the mustard plant, and can have either a crumpled or flat texture, and may have toothed, scalloped, frilled or lacey edges.
These often overlooked greens are packed with flavor and nutrition. In their raw form, they are mildly peppery and fresh tasting, and sauteed, they make a great substitute for kale or collard greens. Here’s how to prepare them for best flavor…
Mustard Green Nutrition
Mustard greens are jam-packed with nutrients. They provide excellent amounts of 9 vitamins and 7 minerals, including Vitamins A, C, E, K, folate and magnesium.
And if that were not impressive enough, being a member of the Brassica family along with broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, they also feature the same cancer-fighting, health-promoting phytonutrients known as glucosinolates.
Selection and Storage of Mustard Greens
Mustard greens grow in a rosette of leaves about a foot-and-a-half tall. You can cook with the big peppery greens or pick smaller, young leaves to eat raw in salads and sandwiches.
Purchase mustard greens that are unblemished and free from any yellowing or brown spots. They should look fresh and crisp and be a lively green or purple-green color.
Mustard greens should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. They should keep fresh for about three to four days.
Preparing Mustard Greens
The easiest way to clean the leaves is the same way you would clean spinach or kale: Place the mustard greens in a large bowl of tepid water and swish them around with your hands. This will allow any sand or dirt to become dislodged.
Remove the greens from the water, empty the bowl, refill with clean water and repeat this process until no sand or dirt remains in the water (usually two or three times will do the trick).
For basic mustard green preparation, wash the leaves and fold in half with the top of the green folded inward. Cut along the stem and remove. Or, if you plan to cook the greens for a long time, such as when using them in soup, you can keep the leaves intact with their center stem.
Young, raw mustard greens make a great addition to any kind of salad, as well as an exciting alternative to lettuce in a sandwich. Your can also add chopped mustard greens to pasta gives it a little kick.
Piquant mustard is often mixed with hearty collards and flavorful turnip greens, tossed in the pot with some ham hocks and gently simmered for an hour or two, until the mix is meltingly tender. It is this traditional “mess o’ greens” that is featured at most Southern celebrations and large family dinners.
The pot-likker at the bottom—the vitamin-rich, green broth that results from the long simmering—is highly prized and is traditionally sopped up with a piece of fresh cornbread.
If Southern cooking doesn’t appeal to you, sautée mustard greens with almost any protein, grain or vegetable you like, especially sweet veggies like yams and carrots. Just keep in mind that mustard is more tender than collards or kale, so needs less cooking to make it soft.
To decrease the spicy flavor of raw mustard greens, cook them in boiling water for one minute before sautéeing. Then sautée in your choice of fat or oil until tender, about 15 minutes.
Here’s a unique way I like to enjoy mustard greens, which combines all the health benefits of raw food with plenty of nutritious, clean fat for maximum mineral absorption.
Other Recipes for Leafy Greens
- Garlic Pickled Greens
- Marinated Turnip Greens
- Dandelion Salad with Warm Pecan Vinaigrette
Mustard Greens with Garlic Mayonnaise
This recipe for mustard greens with garlic mayonnaise will help you get the most out of this piquant, easy-to-grow, nutritional powerhouse. Pin CourseCondiment, Salad, Side Dish CuisineGAPS, Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegetarian Prep Time30 minutes Total Time30 minutes Servings4 people Calories104kcal
- 2 egg yolks from pasture-raised eggs
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1-2 cloves garlic peeled
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- 1 cup avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- 3/4 pound mustard greens stemmed and chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper finely minced (optional)
- ground black pepper to taste
- Combine the egg yolks, mustard, garlic clove, cayenne and lemon juice in a food processor. (Or use a stick blender)
- Start to process, and as the machine runs, very slowly add the oil in a thin stream through the top spout. The mayonnaise will come together and thicken all of a sudden.
- If the mixture is too thick, add a little warm water to thin it.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- The mayonnaise will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.
- Enjoy with mustard greens (above), or any dish that calls for mayonnaise.
- Rinse and dry the mustard greens.
- Slice away the stems, fold over the leaves and cut them into bite-size pieces.
- In a large bowl, toss the mustard greens and the minced pepper (if using) with a little of the mayonnaise, adding a little at a time and tasting as you go. The leaves should be lightly coated but not soggy with the mayonnaise.
- Add freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 36mg | Potassium: 336mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2755IU | Vitamin C: 62.7mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1.6mg