Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Mustards

There are many greens that you can grow through the winter in Virginia: kale, chard, lettuces, and arugula to name a few, but none are as reliable as the mustards, in my humble opinion. Mustards, like the Green Wave and India Red Giant pictured here, reliably sprout, need little care, and can take freezing temperatures (though if freezing temps are to be prolonged, I do cover them with a row cover or cold frame). They are nutritional powerhouses which will easily self sow if you allow a few to flower and set seed. I like to do a simple treatment with mustard greens: young leaves can be eaten raw in salads and they can be simply sauteed or braised in olive oil, with onions, garlic (can you have too much garlic?), and a dash of red wine or balsamic vinegar. You can get creative and caramelize carrots, parsnips and or onions in the pan before adding the garlic and greens- this gives a sweet contrast to the earthiness of the greens. I have sauteed chopped mustard greens and used them to top pizza, baked potatoes and pasta- YUM!
Happy gardening!

No comments: