Bowls of raw mustard greens
Step Aside Kale, It's Time To Start Embracing Mustard Greens Instead
What Are They?
Mustard greens, popular in Asian, Indian, and African dishes, are bitter leafy vegetables belonging to the Brassica genus family along with kale and broccoli.
Often confused with collard greens, mustard greens have a flavor with more punch and bitterness. They will always taste a bit like mustard since they are grown from mustard seeds.
Origin And History
While native to India, mustard plants were first cultivated in China. However, Europeans also cultivated them centuries before spices were imported from Asia.
Mustard greens are full of fiber and micronutrients for only 15 calories per cup of raw greens. It is rich in vitamins, including a good amount of vitamin C.
Nutrient-wise, mustard greens stand out because they contain several different antioxidants like vitamins C and E, which are necessary to live, and others that support good health.
Combat Bitterness
To reduce the bitterness of mustard greens without eliminating their spicy flavor, balance them out by seasoning them with a strong spice, like red pepper flakes.
You can also add spicy meats, such as hot sausage, to enhance the earthiness of the greens while reducing the bite, or braise them to reduce bitterness and add flavor.
Finally, you can use a very acidic vinaigrette to salads with mustard greens to reduce bitterness. If you're cooking your greens, finish the dish with a little vinegar.
Grow Mustard Greens
To grow mustard greens, use well-draining, fertile soil with a pH between 6 and 7.5 and keep temperatures between 50 and 75 degrees F.
In warmer regions, mustard greens are best to plant in the fall; otherwise, you can also plant in the spring. They fully mature in about a month.