Leave mild spinach to Popeye and the kids. Sometimes you just want food with a jolt that engages all your senses. Grown-Up Mustard Greens do the trick. Mustard greens come with a built-in whiff of horseradish. Some recipes tame them by boiling and draining. Here we cook them with onion, garlic, and jalapeño, then steam until tender but still springy-chewy.
Serve Grown-Up Mustard Greens as a side dish, stuffed in a burrito with refried beans, or layered thickly on toasted bread with a schmear of ricotta for an unusual and thrilling sandwich. (Thanks to Toast in Durham for the sandwich inspiration.)
Active time: 20 minutes. Total time: 25 minutes. Serves 4.
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound mustard greens
2 tablespoons water
salt to taste
apple-cider vinegar to taste
- Mince garlic and set aside. Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Chop onion and add to pan, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Seed and dice jalapeños and stir into the onion mixture.
- Rinse mustard greens well. (Swish sandy ones in two or more bowls of water until the water is clear when you lift out the greens, with no sand or dirt at the bottom of the bowl.)
- Pinch or cut off stems and chop into 1/4-inch pieces, adding stem pieces to onion mixture as you go. Chop leaves into strips about 1/4-inch wide and 3 inches long.
- When onion is tender, add chopped mustard leaves and sprinkle with water. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to simmer. Let greens steam for about five minutes, until darker green and chewy-tender. Taste and salt if desired.
- Drain Grown-Up Mustard Greens, saving broth to season green beans. Serve hot as side dish, sprinkled with vinegar if desired, or press out extra liquid and layer into burritos or sandwiches. Refrigerate any extra.
Tips and notes
- Health benefits. One cup of cooked, chopped mustard greens has 104 grams of calcium, 3 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and only 21 calories. Eat your mustard greens to get vitamins K, A, and C; help lower cholesterol; and ward off cancer and birth defects.
- Save time by getting very young mustard greens if you can. The stems will be tender enough to cook with the greens.