Have you explored the world of mustard greens? Though many of us are familiar with curly mustard, there are literally hundreds of great mustard varieties in many different colors, shapes and textures and varying flavors, from extremely mild and sweet to very pungent. This week Hattie’s Garden is showcasing a couple of these.
Mustard greens, or Brassica juncea, are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C any number of minerals and trace minerals depending upon soil health and are closely related to Brassica oleracea (the kale family, including kale, collards, cabbage, etc.). Mustard greens can lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation. Ask Hattie for the good science on this.
Hi Mi Z or “Dragon’s Tongue” (Brassica juncea) is an excellent mustard variety. As you can see from the picture above, it has purple and green mottled leaves. This green is tender and delicious when young, and mildly spicy and sweet when mature. Crinkled, frilly leaves with thick, white midribs are delicious in stir fries. This week, the Hi Mi Z from Hattie’s Garden is at the lovely young adult stage! Very tender, yet with enough flavor to stand up to a quick stir fry.
Mizuna is a beautiful mustard green with very thin stalks and frilled leaves. Use the whole leaf, including the delicate stalk either on its own, or cooked with meat. Eat mizuna raw as a salad ingredient, or steam, boil, stir-fry. Mizuna has a very mild mustard plant flavor.
Mustards and other brassicas, such as kale, have bile acid binding properties, making bile acids easier to excrete from the body. Bile acids bind with cholesterol, effectively lowering cholesterol levels. It should be noted, however, that steamed greens have a greater capacity to bind bile acid than raw greens.
And yes, Hattie’s Garden will have plenty of traditional curly mustard for Thanksgiving!
What’s Available This Week from Hattie
The following will be available from Hattie’s Garden on Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m., or Friday from 1 – 5 p.m., and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the HLFM, now located at the Shields Elementary parking lot.
- Young Arugula — Always the best.
- Loose Leaf Lettuce — Cut at a young and tender age, includes several different varieties of lettuce.
- Autumn Mesclun — Delicious and tender, young lettuce and other young greens.
- Young Carrots — Slim early carrots are sweet and delicious.
- Young Red Russian Kale — A nice mild, sweet, flat-leaved Siberian-type kale. Always picked young and cooks quickly or can be eaten raw.
- Hakurei Turnips — Small, sweet, white Japanese variety of a “salad” turnip. If you have never tried it, you are going to be delighted—can be eaten raw or cooked and the turnip greens are superb.
- Radishes — These are rich, bright red roots with a crisp and tasty flavor. Radish greens are especially nice this time of year and can and should be used as you would any green.
- Mizuna — Tender mustard green, mild in flavor and used extensively in Japan. Use raw or cooked.
- Dragon’s Tongue — aka Hi Mi Z, this tender mustard green is succulent without being overly spicy. Use raw or cooked.
- Green Tomatoes — A few beautiful medium-sized green tomatoes are coming out of the high tunnel this week to make way for winter projects. Green tomatoes are edible, delicious, and good for so many recipes. Try pickling, making biscuits, and of course, frying!
What’s Available from Other Vendors
The following will be available only on Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., or Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Hattie’s Garden. Note: These items cannot be brought to the HLFM on Saturday as it is a producer-only market.
Black Hog Homestead
- Duck Eggs — Fabulous farm-fresh tasty duck eggs from their own free range ducks. Duck eggs contain more vitamins A, B12 and D, as well as higher levels of Omega-3 than eggs from chickens similarly fed and pastured. If you have never used duck eggs you are in for a treat.
Deep Grass Organics
- Yukon Gold Potatoes — The most delicious of potatoes. Golden yellow tinged flesh is moist and sweet. A multi-purpose potato.
- Orange Sweet Potatoes — Small and delicious.
- Red Bliss Potatoes — Creamy, firm and moist red potato.
- Red Onions — Mild and sweet, multi-purpose red onions.
- Candy Sweet Yellow Onions — Sweet, yellow onion.
- Garlic — Nice large heads.
- Acorn Squash — It derives its name from its distinctive acorn shape.
- Butternut Squash — Has an oblong shape, a tannish-colored skin, and an orange fleshy pulp. Its taste is often described as sweet, nutty, and similar to that of a pumpkin.
- Free-range Chicken Eggs — These eggs are so much better than their commercially-produced, store-bought counterparts.
Yours at the market and garden…