Mustard greens are the stepchild of greens, but without reason.
Mustard greens got their bad name from large volumes of over-mature mustard greens cooked to death. There are recipes out there that recommend that you cook you mustard greens for an hour, and that you cook them covered. That may be necessary to get over-mature mustard greens “tender” (read, “mushy”), but it is not a route to the way I love mustard greens.
Young mustard greens, cooked just enough, are a treat. Particularly when flavored with good bacon from pastured pigs!
My recipe, which you should use as a guide, but adapt it your tastes.
Approximately ½ lb mustard greens (fresh and not over-mature)
3 slices of bacon (more, I you like, which I do), chopped
½ medium onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
Salt & Pepper to taste
½ cup beef stock (if you are using Option 1, below)
[if you are using Option 2, below, then you will not need the beef stock, but will need:
½ cup heavy cream
(½ teaspoon ground coriander – coriander is optional, and if you don’t have any in your spice cupboard, I wouldn’t let that keep me from trying this option; the coriander gives the dish a very subtle hint of citrus)
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish when serving]
Prepare the Mustard
· Remove the ribs from the mustard leaves
o It is OK to leave the stems in the smaller leaves, if you like
· Chop coarsely
Put the chopped bacon in a non-reactive Dutch oven and begin to render the fat over a medium fire
Once the bacon begins to render its fat, but before it begins to become crisp, add the chopped onion and the two cloves of garlic
Continue to cook over medium fire for about 5 minutes, until the onion turns translucent
Add the chopped mustard (you may have to add it in stages for it to fit into the pot – that is fine). You may want to lower the fire just a little at this point.
Once the mustard has wilted (about 7 minutes), add the beef stock and the salt and pepper.
Cook until the stock has evaporated, adjust salt & pepper and serve.
Once the mustard has wilted (about 7 minutes), add ½ cup heavy cream (more if you like), lower your fire and cook until the cream is reduced by about ½ the volume
Add ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Cook until the cream and cheese are no longer incorporated, about an additional 5 minutes, on very low heat.
Serve and garnish with grated parmesan cheese