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White mustard is similar to its Red and Green mustard counterparts in its flavor and growing cycles, but is set apart by a thick, longitudinally ribbed white stem. Its broad deeply veined leaves are somewhat more smooth and variegated with white and pale green. The flavor of White mustard leaves is robust and peppery, but slightly milder than that of the red and green varieties. Its texture is both tender and succulent when young, but later becomes more fibrous with maturity.
White mustard greens are available year-round with peak season in spring.
White mustard greens are a variety of Brassica juncea, and a member of the Brassica family along with arugula, radishes and turnips. Sometimes referred to as Chinese mustard greens, they have a similar appearance to Yu Choy or Gai Choy leaves and may be used interchangeably. This leafy vegetable should not be confused with Sinapis alba, a completely different genus of mustard plants that is responsible for seed production used in making the eponymous condiment.
White mustard greens are rich in vitamins A, B, C and K, as well as anti-cancer compounds, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and natural detoxifying properties.
White mustard greens can be used in both cooked and raw preparations, depending upon their maturity. They are commonly implemented as a young salad green when still tender and mild. As a large leaf, they are best braised, stir fried or steamed. Mustard greens pair well with rich meats such as pork, lamb and smoked sausages, creamy sauces, aged and melting cheeses, apples, peaches, cucumbers, citrus, vinegars, especially apple cider and rice, nuts like pistachios and hazelnuts, herbs and spices including cumin, cilantro, dill, garlic, fennel and coriander.
Mustard plants contain volatile oils which have strong antimicrobial (bacteria and fungi) properties. These properties make mustard greens a choice cover crop to plant as an organic pesticide for weeds and soil born-pathogens.
Mustard greens are native to India. The first varietal differentiation of mustard greens was cultivated in China near Sichuan. White mustard greens have been naturalized throughout the northern hemisphere from Japan to Europe to South and North America. Though very tolerable of a variety of climate and soil conditions, they prefer rich organic nutrient-dense soils, full sun and cool temperatures for efficient and fast growth.
Recipes that include White Mustard. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Spark Recipes||Southern Mustard Greens|