We had a lot of fun cooking mustard greens for this week’s Root Source. Though in the Deep South it’s traditional to cook the living daylights out of them, I’ve always preferred just barely cooking mustard greens, 5-10 minutes at most. While I enjoy the deep flavor and memory of comfort that long-cooked greens give me, I love the texture and bright flavor that a brief cooking time preserves.
Poking around to see what others had to say about mustards, I was excited to see Elizabeth Schneider address the issue of “greens-doneness” in her cookbook Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini. In the chapter on mustards, she describes several different ways to have them.
1) “Barely wilt: Toss with hot dressing, or fold mustard chiffonade into hot beans or pasta. Or pour boiling water over whole trimmed leaves to soften for wrapping.”
(2) “Short-cook: Boil a few minutes in broth for bright, juicy, and tender greens; or steam 4-5 minutes for leaves with a bit more flavor and heat.”
(3) “Long-cook: Earthy bitterness and depth develop in greens that are slow-braised; but bite, perfume, and color dissipate.”
(4) I’ve been digging the kale tossed with garlic mayonnaise that my local Whole Foods has in the prepared foods section. With raw mustards, you get a hotter green to toss with the mayonnaise, but it’s still delicious.