Taste the Garden: Mustard Greens

Florida broadleaf mustard (brassica juncea)
AKA: Mustard greens, Indian mustard

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Mustard greens can be found simmering in pots across the globe. Believed to have originated near the Himalayas thousands of years ago, they’re grown in in most Nepali kitchen gardens and are eaten multiple times per week. Nepal is one of the leading producers of these greens.

A member of the brassica family – home to broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, among others – these peppery, pungent greens deliver a sharp bite, and come in a range of sizes and colors. The flavor can be mellowed through cooking, and they are well worth introducing as a kitchen staple.

Common Uses

  • Bhutan: In Bhutan, mustard greens take on a second life in the form of gundruk, a fermented product that is used throughout the non-growing season in soups, curries, and dhal (lentils).
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: Greens are popular in African cooking, where they can be found in soups, stews, and many other dishes.
  • Nepal: The entire mustard plant is edible, and the seeds are used to make mustard oil a signature ingredient in Nepali cuisine. Nepali mustard greens, known as rayako saag, are often braised.

Details

  • Flavor notes: Mustard, pepper, a bit bitter
  • Growing season: Spring, fall
  • Harvest notes: The smaller the leaf, the milder the flavor

Recipes

–Jenn Hall, NSC Volunteer, Writer

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