What Do Mustard Greens Taste Like?

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Move over, kale. In this article, we're diving into the subject of mustard greens. We'll be answering all of your questions about taste, texture, cooking methods and more.

Let's get started...

What Do Mustard Greens Taste Like? 

Mustard greens are interesting. They have a spicy flavor that tastes very much like spicy mustard that develops as you chew.

The mustard flavor, however, is not overpowering. It's gentle and mixed with the familiar flavor of other leafy greens like spinach and collard greens, fresh and vegetal.

Are Mustard Greens Bitter? 

Like other darker green veggies and leafy greens, mustard greens are bitter. However, so is kale, and kale is one of the most popular greens around.

Mustard greens are a little more bitter raw than cooked, so if you aren't into the bitter flavor, make sure you saute your mustard greens first.

Mustard Greens Texture 

Not unlike Swiss chard, mustard greens are light and tender. Because of this, they cook quickly— much more quickly than mature curly kale.

More lightly cooked mustard greens will be soft and somewhat chewy. In contrast, very cooked mustard greens will be a lot mushier, though this is a desirable texture in certain braised mustard greens recipes.

Can You Eat Raw Mustard Greens? 

Yes, you can eat your mustard greens raw as they're soft enough to do so. You might chop them up or slice them into long, thin ribbons to toss with other greens in a salad.

Do note that raw mustard greens have a stronger flavor than cooked mustard greens. Some people love this, but it can be too intense for others.

How Do You Get the Bitterness Out of Mustard Greens? 

There's a pretty neat trick to reducing the bitterness of mustard greens in case this quality is a bit much for you. Here it is: lemon juice or vinegar.

The reason lemon juice and vinegar work is that they're both acidic. Acidic agents work to mitigate the pungent bitterness of mustard greens, so anything acidic will do the trick.

How Do You Make Mustard Greens Taste Better? 

In addition to adding some lemon juice, you can cook your mustard greens with sweet root vegetables like parsnips and sweet potatoes to add variation to the pungent flavors of mustard greens. 

This video will show you how to make a quick mustard green saute with garlic, pine nuts, currants, apples, lemon juice and vinegar. Try other sweet fruits, too, including grapes, oranges and berries.

Wrap Up

If you love spicy stone-ground mustard, you might really enjoy mustard greens. As the name implies, there is a prominent, peppery mustard flavor in these greens, though they're also on the bitter side. Cook them with lemon juice to cut the bitterness and enjoy them in sautes, salads and savory vegan pies. Try out different recipes for yourself and you'll see why mustard greens are being hailed as the new kale.

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