Monday, February 7, 2011
Mustards - Add Some Spice to your Life
When selling his mustard greens at our farmers market, Farmer Bobby Britt has a good pitch. He tells his customers to think of the 3 S's, salads, sandwiches, sautee´. Raw mustard greens add a nice heat to liven up salads, burgers and other sandwiches. Gently sauteed they lose much of the heat and become wonderfully tender and succulent. I would add another S or 2 to the list; soups and stews. Mustard greens make a nice addition to hearty soups and stews. We like to combine them with beans, whole grains, root vegetables and simmer in a nice bone broth with fresh herbs to make a warming meal on a crisp winter day.
This fall we planted 3 varieties of mustard "greens". I have to admit I again indulged my passion for purple vegetables. We grew Purple Giant, Ho Mi Z and Osaka Purple. The Purple Giant grew quickly producing huge tender leaves, however when the temperatures dropped into the mid-teens they were killed. Ho Mi Z did not produce well at all. Osaka Purple is the clear winner in this fall's mustard trials. The leaves are stunningly beautiful, large twisted, oval shapes that look like glistening purple and green metal. At the market we display them in bundles like flower arrangements and our customers always comment on their beauty as they put them in their market bags.
Osaka Purple is one tough customer too. She pulled through the cold and snow like a champ. With the warmer, sunnier days we have had the past couple of weeks she is starting to grow again. We will be harvesting some of her spicy goodness for market later this week.