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Root Source: Mustard Greens

root source - mustard greens - cookthink

what you should know

Last spring, we marveled at themuddled taxonomy of mint. We're similarly impressed with the many different faces of mustard greens, which are grown and eaten all over the world.

Mustard greens, in all their forms, are the leaves of the plants from which we get the seeds used to make mustard. Not surprising then that they tend to be the spiciest of the bitter greens (aka, the "cooking greens"), a group that includes kale, collards, beet greens and turnip greens.

 

changing flavor Baby mustard greens start narrow and peppery, "like fresh salad greens with a little dose of wasabi." As they grow, they get curly and more bitter. 

 

greenskeeping Big, leafy greens always need a thorough washing. Start by submerging the leaves in a big bowl of lukewarm water. Shake them back and forth. Pull the greens out and pour off the water. Then, do the same thing again and again and again. Once you've got them clean, be sure to dry your greens before cooking them.

 

bacon of the month club

what you need

You can cook enough greens for a jamboree with this 12-quart stock pot from Cuisinart.

Mustards and most other bitter greens are available year-round, and they all go well with pork. With a Bacon of the Month Club membership, you could set yourself up for an indulgent 365 days of soul food.

John T. Edge is the luckiest man alive; he's director of theSouthern Foodways Alliance and author of, among many others, Mrs. Wilkes' Boardinghouse Cookbook.

mustard greens with bacon - cookthink

what you do

Inspired by a similar dish at Whole Foods, Brys has fallen in love with raw mustard greens dressed with garlic mayonnaise.

Left in a pot on low heat for an hour (at least), long-cooked mustard greens lose their bite and become soft. Some chili-infused vinegar reinvigorates the greens and gives some edge to their tenderness.

Braised mustard greens with bacon and shallots bridge the texture-flavor gap between the leafy pungency of raw greens and the mellowness of long-cooked greens.

Quickly sautéed mustards add a sharp, hot note to the sweet richness of pumpkin ravioli. Grating fresh parmesan over everything at the end adds savoriness and rounds out the dish.

The hearty, bitter greens hold their shape and flavor well in this stir-fried chicken with mustard greens and garlic.

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