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May 21, 2010 06:31 PM

awash in spinach mustard

Our CSA pickup this week included a giant bag of spinach mustard - a hybrid green that has just a little bit of bite, but is mild enough to eat raw. We've been stirfrying it and adding it to salads, but there is no way we will eat all of it before it goes bad. Any suggestions for consuming, freezing or preserving, or processing our greens into baby food?

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  1. You can blanch the greens for 30 seconds then plunge into an ice bath; drain well then pack in freezer bags. If you have a food dehydrator, you can dry them and later add to soups, rice, stir fries, etc. Personally, I'd braise them with some smoked turkey legs, wings or smoked pork hock.

    1. You really think your baby will eat spinach mustard greens?? Most babies don't like bitter & sharp foods yet, their palate has not developed that at such an early age.

      Wow, if he/she does, you've got a future Chowhound on your hands....!!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Phurstluv

        Baby is still on a liquid diet, so I have no idea what he'll eat! But I know several babies that have started out with some pretty bizarre foods - they don't get picky for a year or so.

        1. re: renshiwo

          Oh, I know they don't get picky at that age, I have two boys. But they are naturally drawn to sweet, not bitter. Bitter was a "warning" to our cave ancestors that something was poisonous, so it's a natural reaction to repel from a bitter taste, which is an acquired one. Give him a lemon to suck on for a second and watch what he does.

          1. re: Phurstluv

            Oh, sure they will eat greens. Even bitter ones....DS1 ate buckets of kale when he was a baby, and DS2 is following in his footsteps. Then again, DS1 asks for lemon slices and snacks on fried anchovies and roasted seaweed.

            Your bag of greens is probably gone by now, but for future reference: steam them until they are tender. Chop them coarsely and puree in a food processor, adding some of the liquid from the bottom of the steamer to help the grinding. Transfer the misture to ice-cube trays and freeze; once the cubes are frozen solid, transfer to zip-top bags and store for up to 2 months.

            The easiest way to get greens into my boys was with an egg: thaw a cube of pureed greens in an 8-oz glass custard cup or dish, add an egg and mix well (i.e. scramble), then microwave it for a mintue or so (look at the bottom of the dish to make sure that the egg is completely cooked). Let cool and then slice into finger food-sized pieces.

            if you child isn't eating eggs yet (or can't due to allergy), you can mix the pureed greens with rice porridge, or pureed sweet potato, or pureed white beans etc...basically anything that you would normally think that greens would taste good with. Ooo, or stir it into some polenta; when the poenta cools you can cut it into nice sized cubes for more finger foods.

      2. Do you like Indian food? There is a delicious dish of mustard greens that is famous in the Punjab region. Traditionally you would mix spinach and mustard in this dish, but since your mustard greens are so mild, you can just use them. It is very lightly seasoned and should just have a bite of heat so that the mustard is the star of the show. Here is a recipe:

        2.5 lbs or so mustard greens, washed and chopped
        1 tsp garlic paste
        1 tsp ginger paste
        1 tsp red chile powder (or to taste)
        2 tbs finely ground maize flour (you can use whole wheat flour or chickpea flour if you don't have maize flour)
        1 tbs butter
        2 tbs oil for frying
        salt to taste

        You boil the mustard until it softens, then puree it with some of the cooking liquid. OR You can add 1/2 cup or so water to a large pot, allow that to boil, then add the mustard, and allow it to melt down and then cook on low heat for about 1/2 hour, adding a little water if necessary. This method keeps all the vitamins in the spinach but just takes longer than boiling. Then you puree it and keep it aside.

        Now heat the oil and ginger/garlic pastes. When these turn golden, quickly add in the red chile powder, then before it burns, stir in the mustard green puree. Mix well, add in a your salt and the maize flour. Mix well. You may need to add a little water to this. Then just lower heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. To serve, add shards of butter on top.

        Traditionally this is served with maize flour flat bread, but I suppose you could use corn tortillas or even just serve this as a side dish with another meal.

        If you have literally tons of mustard, you can make 2 portions of mustard puree for this recipe and freeze one to make again another time.

        3 Replies
        1. re: luckyfatima

          Mmmm, this sounds delicious. Is the chile powder like a New Mexico chile powder, or is it dried ground chiles (like cayenne)?

          1. re: renshiwo

            You can use whatever you have available. I usually use either Kashmiri chile powder or regular Indian chile powder from the Indian grocery store but I suppose you could use others like cayenne. I think a very smoky chile powder would be too far off from the original taste though.

            1. re: luckyfatima

              Thanks. We are very rural, so I can't think of a place to get Indian chile powder within a four hour radius!

        2. would it work in a ricotta mixture for raviolis, manicotti, or lasagna?
          make a fritatta or quiche and freeze?
          have you ever tried home-made veg juice?

            1. re: just_M

              Oh, yum. Somehow this seems like it can't possibly be healthy, whether it's made with greens or not.

              1. re: renshiwo

                I know! I can't wait to try it on my family. I keep thinking; they have to like it, its a chip :->