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Mustard Greens

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Chinese mustard

What is it?

The leaves of the mustard plant (Brassica juncea) are hot and peppery tasting, and can be yellowish-green or reddish-purple in color. As with other hardy greens like collards or turnip greens, they require longer cooking time to make their fibrous texture tender.


Their pungent flavor is flattered with garlic, hot pepper flakes, and vinegar, or long cooking with a ham hock.

Don’t have it?

Kale and turnip greens are also hardy, leafy vegetables with a similar flavor profile (minus the horseradish-y bite), and they would work in most recipes that call for mustard greens.

How to choose:

Choose leaves that look fresh rather than wilted or drooping, without any yellow spots or bruising.

How to prep:

Wash mustard greens in a deep sink or a very large bowl of cold water, gently swirling the stalks to encourage any soil or grit to disperse into the water. Shake off the excess water and pat dry with paper towels. Before cooking mustard greens, you’ll need to remove the tough stems and central ribs from all but the smallest leaves. You can cut them out with a knife or simply tear away the leaf from the rib.

Simmer or steam the leaves until completely tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

How to store:

Store mustard greens unwashed in an unclosed plastic bag in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer, where it keeps well for two or three days. If you need to store it longer, wrapping the bundle in slightly damp paper towels before putting it in a plastic bag helps prolong its freshness.


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