Peppery, pungent, and popular in the South, mustard greens are packed with calcium and vitamins. Some people find them overly
bitter, but cooking tames their flavor. Kale, Swiss chard, and spinach all make good substitutes.
Season: December through March; year-round in the South.
How to Choose Mustard Greens
Look for rich, dark green leaves that are ruffly and crisp; red and purplish varieties are also available, although less common. Smaller leaves tend to be milder in flavor and more tender than their larger, more mature counterparts. Avoid any bunches with yellowed or wilted leaves or especially thick stems. Frozen chopped greens are also available and make a good substitute for fresh.
How to Store Mustard Greens
Refrigerate unwashed (moisture speeds decay) in a tightly sealed bag for up to 1 week.
How to Prepare Mustard Greens
Remove any thick ribs or stems, which can be tough, then swish the leaves in a bowl of cold water. (They can be sandy, so change the water several times.) If the taste of the greens is too strong, try blanching them in salted water before cooking.
How to Cook Mustard Greens
Traditionally flavored with chunks of ham or bacon, they take on a delicious smoky flavor when sautéed in fat. They can also be sautéed with minced garlic or simply steamed or boiled. Small, tender leaves can be eaten raw in salads.
Real Simple Mustard Green Recipes:
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.