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Mar 21, 2012 05:22 PM

Mustard greens!

I keep seeing the other mustard thread and thinking oh boy, we're going to talk about mustard greens. Brought home a huge bunch from my mother-in-law over the weekend. I cooked the last of them tonight using bacon grease, onions, garlic, crushed red pepper, red wine vinegar, and served with crumbled bacon. Very good but I felt the bacon flavor got lost. The first batch I cooked with olive oil were just as good, not to mention healthier. I found a recipe for a Caesar-esque salad on Epi today but didn't have any anchovies on hand. Darn it.

Anyone else cook mustard greens and if so, how do you use them?

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  1. My dad would use olive oil, kosher salt, a dollop of dijon mustard (of all things), and garlic. My mom didn't care for mustard greens, but we could put away a field of them. We ate them with crusty Italian bread, on their own.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pinehurst

      Dijon mustard? That actually sounds good. Might try that with the leftovers. Thanks!

      1. re: MrsJonesey

        Yes...whatever brand we had in the fridge. Sounds weird but it worked.

    2. I love Callaloo when made with mustard greens! They are everything that is good about greens.

      1 Reply
      1. re: StrandedYankee

        Had to look up Callaloo. Found an Emeril recipe using sweet potato, scotch bonnet and coconut milk. Very interesting. Might have to try this. Thanks!

      2. Love mustard greens!

        I’m gonna share a secret that will probably trip you out but it’s the fastest way to clean a large quantity of greens. I put them in the WASHING MACHINE, gentle cycle, with a squirt of dish detergent. They come out squeaky clean, chopped, and ready to cook.

        I then pressure cook with a ham bone, soup bone, or homemade stock to get it tender, then add sautéed onion, garlic, the last few min. Splash on a bit of hot sauce and serve with cornbread. Melts in your mouth!

        16 Replies
          1. re: magiesmom

            I know it sounds crazy but it's true. Do it every time.

            1. re: magiesmom

              Actually, Spice is not the only person I've heard say this. I've never done it, but it's supposed to work well for hearty greens.

              1. re: StrandedYankee

                Ha! It's been years but I've done that before and you're right they come out squeaky clean and already chopped, spun dry and no large bowls or colanders to wash.

                1. re: MrsJonesey

                  Don't you have a residue of leafies around the sides of the washer that eventually get in your clothes. Besides, my washer is clean enough for my laundry, but food is another thing altogether. Just saying.

                  1. re: noodlepoodle

                    No, none got in my clothes. It has been 20+ years when I neither had a waterbill or well to worry about, but knowing me I ran an empty cycle beforehand or at least made sure to do it after a "clean" load, like kitchen towels or such. At the very least, I would have wiped the barrel down with bleach. I wouldn't dream of doing it with greens to be consumed raw. At any rate, we didn't get sick. lol. Now, I have a double sink which is great for washing a bunch of greens.

                    1. re: MrsJonesey

                      Seriously, gross. I wouldn't think of putting my greens where my dirty underwear gets washed. And how much time and water do you waste?
                      I love, love greens. You name it, I crave it. How hard is it to fill a sink, use a couple towels and a spinner? Are you processing it by the bushel?
                      I don't care if you heat it, fry it, burn it... that's just not right.

                      1. re: monavano

                        lol. Can't say I'm surprised by this reaction. Nobody is insisting you do it.

                        1. re: MrsJonesey

                          E. Coli....just sayin'. And of course I won't do it, but I just have to pipe up when someone is practicing dubious, even harmful food hygiene.
                          Let's put it this way, would anyone eat at a restaurant where the greens are washed in the same unit as the busboys' tighty whities?

                          1. re: monavano

                            Seriously, why don't you just swish it around in your toilet bowl?

              2. re: magiesmom

                I'm flabbergasted myself. The washing machine part is semi-plausible--but detergent? LOL

                1. re: AlkieGourmand

                  Dish liquid. Detergent might cause them to disintegrate. LOL.

              3. re: Spice_zing

                My mother would spin greens in her washing machine, and kept a couple of old pillowcases nearby for that purpose.

                1. re: sr44

                  Okay I can see the spin in a pillowcase, maybe. But not floatin' free in a washer that also held my husband's work clothes minutes before.

                  1. re: sr44

                    Yes, you do have bits on the sides but a quick wipe soon after takes care of it. You don’t want the bits to dry out ‘cause they stick and then it’s a pain to clean. Made that mistake once.

                    I like the pillowcase idea or even one of those large mesh bags. Might try that next time.

                    1. re: Spice_zing

                      When I learned the washing machine trick thirty years ago (I got it from the Chinese folks in the Mississippi Delta), I was taught to use large mesh bags with zippers, like women use for stockings only bigger. I found one somewhere.

                2. I cook them. I've used them all winter. I like to add them to a bean stew or soup, near the end of cooking. They don't seem to need the same amount of time as kale does. I also braise them, mixed with spinach, in a little chicken broth. I flavor them with bacon bits and/or parm cheese. I like to add a few chopped canned tomatoes spooned out of the can close to the end of cooking. The red tomatoes look so nice against the dull green of the greens. I will have added plenty of onion crescents to some fat before I added the mustard greens.

                  Before cooking, I clean them in a sink full of water. I pull the leaves off the main rib, like I do for spinach. I have a metal over the sink basket to put the leaves in to drain. Then I wrap them in paper towels for good measure.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sueatmo

                    I like the idea of adding tomatoes. Sounds good.Thanks.

                  2. i love all sorts of greens, and will always appreciate them cooked as an indian "saag," as well as my other stand-by southern prep with bacon.

                    i like to cook them with black eyed peas, too -- in a hearty new year's luck style soup.

                    they also can be used like spinach in quiches, tarts and gratins.

                    i wonder if some of those fresh kale salad recipes could be used with fresh mustard greens, finely cut? there are plenty that sound appealing that i've seen on the net.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: alkapal

                      Oh, I do a New Year's black-eyed peas soup/stew thing too. I've not tried any of the kale salads yet, but the Caesar-style salad from Epi sounds really good to me.


                      1. re: alkapal

                        I've eaten them with blackeyed peas. They were very good. Good point.