SALADSHARE #2 'Red mustard'
Red mustard is a variety of mustard plant, Brassica juncea, that is grown for its spicy purple-greenish leaves. It belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables and originates from China. It is an important ingredient in Chinese and Indian cuisines.
The leaves can get quite large, growing up to 30cm in length. Sometimes it’s grown as a cover crop or as ornamental greens for its colourful leaves.
It is a cool season crop, available through the lean winter months, and will keep on producing new leaves if harvested.
Nutritionally, mustard greens are a source of vitamins A, C and K. They also contain antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
In food it can be used just as any mustard greens. Younger leaves are used raw in salads, shredded and mixed in with other leaves. As the leaves mature, the flavour gets sharper and spicier and it is best to cook them in order to reduce the heat. The leaves are great sautéed with a bit of garlic and oil, or in stir-fries. They are also good pickled and added to richer stews and soups, or mixed in at the end of cooking anywhere where a flavour kick is needed.
To prepare, follow the salad preparation above. If the stems are tough, only use the leaves by tearing them off, and then cutting them finer.