Mustard greens are the leaves of the mustard plant Brassica juncea, which produces acrid-tasting brown seeds. The pungent, peppery flavour of the leaves adds zing to any recipe. Mustard greens come in a host of varieties, but each has distinct characteristics. Most varieties are emerald green in colour. However, some are not green but come in shades of dark red or deep purple. The leaves of mustard greens can have either a crumpled or flat texture and may have either toothed, scalloped, frilled or lacy edges.

Mustard greens originated in the Himalayan region and have been grown for more than 5,000 years. Purchase greens that are unblemished and free from yellowing or brown spots. They should look fresh and crisp and be a lively green colour. They can be stored in a plastic bag and refrigerated where they will keep fresh for three to four days. Mustard greens are an excellent source of many vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and vitamin E, manganese and dietary fibre.

Now, for a recipe.

Garlic mustard pesto

Ingredients

Fresh mustard leaves: 150 gm

Garlic, minced: 3 cloves

Olive oil: 70 ml

Parmesan cheese, grated: 70 gm

Salt to taste

Method: Put all the ingredients together in a blender and make them into a smooth, dark green paste. Let the pesto sit for 3 or 4 hours.

Chef de partie

Taj Connemara

RELATED NEWS

Herbs as healers June 12, 2010

Know your herbs September 10, 2009