Thursday, April 2, 2009
Mustard Greens - oh yeah, they have a bite!
I can't tell you how many times I have gotten to the Farmers' Market too late to purchase mustard greens from Brines Farm. My hand practically jumped out to snatch the bag I saw on their table last Saturday. I did contain myself from "snatching" but very happily put my greens in my market bag already thinking about what I would do with them at home.
I actually ate a good third of the leaves raw (I shared some with my husband so he could taste them raw before I cooked them), enjoying the punchy taste, slightly bitter but not overwhelmingly so.
I simply stir-fried them in a bit of olive oil with fresh sliced garlic and some roasted red peppers.
The leaves cook down a lot quite quickly, the whole bag was only two generous servings (of course I did eat quite a few raw before putting them in the pan!). The slightly bitter taste mellows out when cooked. It only has a little bite and was a perfect complement to baked fish and roasted potatoes with rosemary.
Like other Brassica greens, these are a great source of vitamin C, A, E, folate, potassium, manganese, calcium, and are a downright powerhouse for vitamin K (one serving containing over 500% of the daily recommended dietary intake) for all those important blood clotting and bone building functions.
There has been some very preliminary research evaluating the role of vitamin K in type 2 diabetes, with supplementation of vitamin K1 (the type found in mustard greens) able to reduce insulin resistance in older men (but not older women).
"Effect of Vitamin K Supplementation on Insulin Resistance in Older Men and Women”
Authors: M. Yoshida, et. al., , Diabetes Care, November 2008, Volume 31, Pages 2092-2096.
I'm heading back next Saturday to see if I can get there early enough for some more! I want to save enough to add to a fresh green salad, so the bitter leaves can become an accent.
Where kale (and other Brassicas) are more than decoration on my plate!
Diana Dyer, MS, RD