mustard greens

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Mustard greens’ spicy-hot flavor is one of the best things about springtime. The greens wilt down with garlic and olive oil to a perfect side-dish on their own, or serve them up as a bed for pork chops or lamb, add a few leaves to a grilled burger for a heated crunch, or toss them into a fresh lettuce or kale salad. For more ideas, check out this link to Bon Appétit’s list of scrumptious recipes featuring mustard greens.

Green Flat Joe’s Our good friend, Syverine, introduced us to Flat Joe’s – a good name for pretty much anything wrapped up in a tortilla with a fried egg. There is a special technique to pressing the tortilla into the egg as it simmers in the frying pan in order to get even distribution of egg on the tortilla surface. And you want to use a well seasoned skillet, so your egg doesn’t stick to the pan and make a mess. Syverine (originally from Homer, AK) would make smoked salmon and caper Flat Joe’s. We tend to make them with sauteed garlic and greens, using spinach, mustard greens, collards or kale. This makes a great breakfast, but works great any time of day, really.

  • 1/2 lb greens, for 2-3 people (spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens, collards or kale), chopped in 3/4″-1″ strips
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves, or another allium family, whatever you have on hand (onion, green onion, green garlic, leek)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne
  • 1 egg per person
  • 1 small corn or flour tortilla per person
  • salt and pepper

Heat oil in a well seasoned skillet. Saute garlic and chopped greens, add red pepper. Set aside. Crack egg into the hot skillet and immediately press tortilla into the egg so that the egg cooks to the tortilla. Once the egg is cooked, flip the tortilla in the skillet and load it with sauteed garlic greens. Wrap like a burrito and serve.

Calabrese Mustard Greens

  • 1 lb mustard greens
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1-2 large garlic cloves, or garlic scapes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat until the garlic is golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the greens and stir well. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are heated through, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the greens to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the vinegar and serve.

Spicy Mustard Greens with Garam Masala
The coconut milk in this dish balances the heat of the greens and pairs well with rice or quinoa and naan. If you can’t find garam masala, an Indian ground spice mix, substitute with curry powder. If spicy isn’t your thing, omit the green chile or the cayenne.

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
  • 1 green chile (such as Serrano), stemmed and sliced into thin rings
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed (or smashed into a paste with the side of a knife)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala, plus additional for serving
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 bunch large-leafed mustard greens, very thick stems removed, roughly chopped
  • salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk, well stirred
  • Lime wedges, for serving

In a medium, heavy sauté pan, heat the ghee or olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and green chile and sauté for 1 minute. (Do not let the garlic brown.) Add the garam masala and sauté for a few seconds. Add the mustard greens, a pinch of salt and stir well to coat. Stir in the coconut milk. Cover and let simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until some of the coconut milk has absorbed and the greens are tender. Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with a pinch of garam masala. Serve warm with lime wedges for squeezing.

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