Monday, October 21, 2013

Simple Braised Mustard Greens

Even our kids enjoy mustard greens--probably the only "greens" we can all agree on. And this is one of the simplest greens recipes I make. It's enjoyed enough to be requested for birthday dinners! This past week, we got a nice bunch in our share from the Colvins, and tonight we had them as part of my daughter's birthday dinner. I figured it was time I put this recipe here on full tummies.

A few words about mustard greens (and any greens, really). First, start with good greens. Seems obvious, doesn't it. Those big packages of "pre-washed/pre-chopped" greens often yield mostly stems. It's better to buy them loose, even though it's more work (or get them from a local farmer like we do!). And I gotta tell you: the greens we get from the Colvins are gorgeous with all this purple and green. They turn just plain green when cooked, though.

Second, make sure you wash them thoroughly--several changes of water, if necessary.

Third, weigh your bunch. This is helpful if you're not very familiar with greens and their amounts. What I have pictured above is about 12 ounces! That's all--and it's overflowing my 12 cup bowl before it's chopped. Remember, greens cook down considerably. You'll want about 4 ounces, raw, per serving. The above picture is what all those greens cooked down to!

Fourth, remove those larger stems and then chop the greens. I just fold a leaf in half like this.

Then I just slice off the stems--I don't worry if it's not perfect. If your stems aren't big, you may not need to do this at all.

Simple Braised Mustard Greens
(note the ratio, here; you can adjust this recipe up or down quite easily)

  1. Chop stems off and chop greens if you haven't.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a large pot.
  3. Add seasoning and greens, stirring until all greens have wilted (this will just take a minute or so).
  4. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Baby greens will take less time. You want greens to be tender but not mushy. 

  5. Drain and serve!
 ~serves 4

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