Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Mustard Greens a la Mediterranean...
And so my experimentation with Greens continues, this time Mustard Greens. Before last night I’d never in my life eaten a mustard green, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect from them. I’ve heard them described as being ‘peppery’ which is a word I always associate with Arugula. I’d also heard them described as being bitter, but most greens are somewhat bitter and so that didn’t worry me at all. I see these leafy greens every time I’m in the grocery store but have never thought to try them out. Until yesterday I decided ‘what the heck?" I bought one bunch, and armed with nothing but my own imagination set about preparing them.
I figured they’d be just like any other green, so I could cook them as such. Saute them like the kale and collards I’d been making recently. As for flavor there was an array of possibilities, but I decided I wanted a sort of Italian or Mediterranean style dish. After surveying my pantry I collected the necessary ingredients and went to work. However half way through I came to the very alarming realization that mustard greens taste just like - well mustard, or perhaps more accurately a sort of cross between a strong mustard and horseradish. I had my onions and garlic sauteeing in the pan. My Greens thoroughly massaged and wilted with lemon juice and vinegar and I took one bite and immediately felt that awful, eye watering, nasale scorching burn you get when you put too big a dollop of wasabi on your sushi. It was awful, I had no idea! And it was 8:15pm too late to start dinner over. Dinner would be a disaster if I didn’t figure something out, and so my solution was to add extra tomato, and sugar and surprisingly this worked beautifully. Sugar was not something I’d intended to add into my dinner, but it certainly did the trick. Allowing us to eat the whole dish happily, soaking up all those good vital nutrients.
Mustard Greens a la Mediterranean
1-2 tbsp olive oil
8-10 garlic cloves crushed (or to taste)
1 Medium sized red onion sliced into quarter moons
1 Bunch Mustard Greens torn into bite size pieces
½ C Sun dried tomatoes (re-hydrated in hot water)
3 Medium sized vine ripened tomatoes chopped
1-2 tbsp raw granulated sugar (or to taste)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4-1/2C Chopped Kalamata Olives
Small handful Basil torn (Roughly 20 leaves)
5-6 large sprigs fresh oregano leaves removed, stems discarded
- Saute onion and garlic in olive oil, in pan over medium heat, until onions are softened and translucent. 7-10 minutes.
- While onions and garlic saute prepare your greens. Remove the ribs, and tear your mustard greens into bite sized pieces. Place them into a medium sized bowl along with your torn basil and oregano leaves, and then pour over the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Use your hands to massage the lemon juice and vinegar into the greens until they’re slightly wilted and broken down. Set aside.
- Drain sun dried tomatoes, and add to pan along with chopped fresh tomatoes, and sugar. Stir to combine everything evenly making sure tomatoes get coated in oil. Let cook over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, until tomatoes have softened and broken down a bit.
- Add your Mustard Greens to the Pan and stir to coat evenly in the juices that will have accumulated in the pan. Cover and let cook over medium for roughly 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Greens should have softened, and decreased in size, but still retain their green color. If not softened cook slightly longer.
- Turn off the heat, add in the chopped Kalamata olives stir to mix in thoroughly then distribute amongst two plates and enjoy.
*** Note - Mustard Greens are an excellent source of nutrition. Per 1 cup they contain 524% Vitamin K, 84% Vitamin A, 59% Vitamin C 25% Folate 15% Fiber, 10% Calcium and about 8% Iron and Protein. However if you really dislike Mustard Greens you could always substitute another green like Kale or Collards in this recipe. I think Kale would work particularly well.***
PS: I served these greens alongside Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s ‘Mushroom Topped Baked Potato’ From her book Color Me Vegan, but I think it would taste just as good alongside a regular baked potato, a stuffed Portobelo mushroom, or a nice bowl of soup with crusty bread. Get creative!