Sold in 3in pots.
Mustard greens have broad, wavy frilled leaves with longitudinal veins and a deep green color. The upright leaves are supported by coarse stems that can be quite fibrous when fully mature. Smaller leaves are considerably tenderer, while larger Mustard greens require cooking. They have a succulent yet crunchy texture and a robust flavor reminiscent of pepper and horseradish.
Mustard greens may be found year-round with peak season fall through spring.
Mustard greens are also commonly referred to as Indian mustard, Chinese mustard, or leaf mustard, and botanically classified as Brassica juncea. It is a generic name that is applied to many different varieties, including white, green and red varieties. Mustard greens are of this genus should not be confused with those of the the Sinapis alba species, a completely different genus of mustard plants that is responsible for seed production used in making the eponymous condiment.
Mustard greens contain compounds which have cancer preventing benefits, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and natural detoxifying properties.
Mustard greens can be used in both cooked and raw preparations, depending upon their maturity. They are commonly implemented as a salad green, pot herb or braising green. Mustard greens pair well with rich meats such as pork, lamb and sausages, creamy sauces, aged and melting cheeses, apples, peaches, cucumbers, citrus, vinegars, especially apple cider and rice, nuts like pistachios and hazelnuts, herbs and spices including cumin, cilantro, dill, garlic, fennel and coriander. The seeds of the mustard plant can be sprouted and eaten raw or dried and used as a spice or in pickling brine, and of course, to make the eponymous condiment.
Mustard plants contain volatile oils which have strong antimicrobial (bacteria and fungi) properties. These properties make mustard greens a choice cover crop to plant as an organic pesticide for weeds and soil born-pathogens.
Mustard greens are native to India. The first varietal differentiation of mustard greens was cultivated in China near Sichuan. Mustard greens have been naturalized throughout the northern hemisphere from Japan to Europe to South and North America. Though very tolerable of a variety of climate and soil conditions, Mustard greens prefer rich organic nutrient-dense soils, full sun and cool temperatures for efficient and fast growth.