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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.

                      2. I likes coconut milk, peanut butter and a squirt or two of sriacha, works with any greens.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                          Now, this is different, to me anyway. Is the coconut milk the only liquid and how much peanut butter? Thanks.

                          1. re: MrsJonesey

                            2 Tbs to a standard 14-16oz can. Coconut milk is the only liquid, the greens liquor will sweat out the rest of the liquid you need.

                            1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                              And how much peanut butter? To taste? Thanks!

                          2. I usually make them Indo-Pak style, specifically Punjabi style with fine corn meal. The under taste of a couple of table spoons of corn meal in the slightly bitter mustard greens is wonderful. Here is my recipe, not a lot of spices because the mustard greens are the star of the show:

                            Sarson da saag (Punjabi Mustard Greens)

                            2 lbs or so mustard greens, washed and chopped
                            1 lb spinach, washed and chopped
                            1 tsp garlic paste
                            1 tsp ginger paste
                            2 fresh tomatoes roughly pureed
                            1 tsp red chile powder (or to taste)
                            2 tbs finely ground cornmeal/maize flour
                            4 tbs butter OR butter flavored low fat substitute
                            2 tbs oil for frying
                            salt to taste

                            You boil the mustard and spinach together until it softens, then puree it with some of the cooking liquid. Reserve about 2 cups of the cooking liquid for later (so you don't pour away all of the vitamins, also). 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 tomato puree. Cook the tomato puree on high heat for a few moments until the oil rises to the top of it. Now add the mustard green/spinach puree. Mix well, add in a your salt and the cornmeal. Mix well. You will need to add 1 to 1.5 cups or so of the cooking liquid---thinner or thicker as per your preference. Then just lower heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When it is done, stir in 3 tbs of your butter or low fat butter substitute. To serve, add shards of butter on top.

                            This is supposed to be served with cornmeal flat bread. I can get this freshly made at a local Indo-Pak grocer, but if you don't have this available, feel free to use corn tortillas. The cornmeal flat bread isn't made with nixtamalized corn like the tortillas, but tortillas still work.

                            A taste of Punjab right in your home!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: luckyfatima

                              Again, very different to me. This might be heresy but I wonder how this would be to skip the pureeing. I am going to be on the look-out for something like this in the Indian restaurant, and I'll bookmark this to have if it appeals to me. Just can't wrap my head around the pureeing part. Seems I need to broaden my horizons, huh? Thanks!

                            2. Melissa Clark has a lovely recipe for a mustard green salad where the greens are not cooked (only good with baby greens or those that aren't too bitter to eat raw). I confess, I frequently sub in dino kale because I have so much of that, but it's still tasty.

                              From her book, Cook this Now:

                              2 garlic cloves, minced
                              Pinch kosher salt with more to taste
                              1/3 cup EVOO
                              4 anchovy fillets, minced
                              Fresh ground pepper
                              5 ounces crusty bread, cut into cubes (about 3 cups)
                              1/4 lb gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
                              5 ounces mustard greens, preferably baby greens (about 6 cups)
                              4 teaspoons lemon juice

                              1) Mash garlic with salt. Whisk in oil, anchovies, salt & pepper

                              2) Spread bread cubes onto baking sheet. Drizze with 2 Tbsp anchovy mixture and toss. Sprinkle half of cheese onto bread. Bake, toss occasionally, until croutons are golden and crisp. About 20 minutes in 375 degree oven.

                              3) Slice mustard greens into strips while bread cubes bake. Remove center ribs if they're too tough.

                              4) To make dressing -whisk lemon juice into remaining anchovy oil. Pour dressing over mustard greens. Add croutons and remaining cheese to salad, toss, and adjust seasonings to taste.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ChairmanMeow

                                That's funny. This sounded an awful lot like the salad I linked to above. Both are Melissa Clark's. Yours is just a smaller version. Glad to know you like it and also that it's good with kale, as I intend to plant kale. Thanks!

                              2. Mustard Greens....Have grown them all my life...The Little brown-eyed girl says....."enough for the whole county if they wanted them" ~~ Pick. wash, (in the sink..sometimes in the bath tub) remove the stem, and cook in salted water, with bacon, ham, salt pork, tasso, smoked hocks, etc, etc, ~~ Like to mix them with Turnip greens sometimes....The addition of several T-Roots toward the end is a must at my house. ~~ It would be against the Laws Of Nature not to serve them with Hot buttered Cornbread/Hushpuppies....Hot pepper Sauce on the side for those who want it ~~ If you're a real Mustard Green Aficionado.....You'll find yourself reaching in the refrigerator and eating a few cold bites with your fingers...Or even reaching in the pot on the stove when they've cooled down a bit. You probably are guilty of eating them out of a bowl with plenty of pot-likker... with maybe a few crumbs of cornbread that "accidentally" fell in...Lastly, so as not to be wasteful...Ya pick up da bowl and drink all da pot-likker...Good to the last Drop!! :))

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Uncle Bob

                                  Uncle Bob, can I drop in for supper the next time I smell yur mess o' greens a cookin'? Man, you make them sound so good! lol.

                                  1. re: MrsJonesey

                                    Anyone who loves Greens cooked & served in this manner is my Fwiend!!! You are always welcome...and they are some good!

                                  2. re: Uncle Bob

                                    mrs. jonesey, you're gonna have to beat me over to uncle bob's house. get runnin', girlfriend!

                                    unless uncle bob is making a very big batch, which means i'll share with you. LOL.

                                    1. Great story about mustard greens-- at my local farmers market, one producers was growing gorgeous mustard greens. I bought a bunch and put them in the fridge with a paper towel in the plastic bag. A week later, I pulled out the greens and began to prep by chopping and what do I see but a lady bug, who was a bit sluggish from the cold, but alive.
                                      After a few minutes in the sun, it warmed up, stretched its' wings a couple times and then just flew off.
                                      This happened 2 weeks in a row!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. I don't know if any of these reciped will help me like mustard greens, but I bet they all work for collards, swiss chard, and kale.

                                        Thanks, I apperciate the suggestions!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Crockett67

                                          Smother in cheese and bacon and you're good to go!

                                          1. re: monavano

                                            If you saute onions in a little olive oil or butter, then add the chopped and dried greens to the skillet, rolling them around in the fat, and adding a little chicken broth to braise until just past bright green, you don't need to smother them with anything. They are very good. I do like to add a few bacon bits, and a little grating or parm over them is quite good. You have to cook kale longer than mustard greens, but this cooking method will impart taste and deliciousness. No need to add that much cheese. (I like cheese very well, but it just seems overkill to smother a healthy dish in cheese.) And don't forget plenty of ground pepper, and/or the hot sauce at the table.

                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                              I was just being funny. I love all greens, all the time. But thanks!

                                        2. My dad always sowed a mixture of turnips, mustard and rape. Very delicious but I only grow collards these days because they are so much easier to pick and wash.