How to Clean & Cook Mustard Greens


Buttery soft, cooked mustard greens provide a tasty side dish or a bed for a more substantial meal. Although young mustard leaves are tender enough to serve raw in salad, older, more mature leaves taste best when cooked. Cooking mellows out any slight bitterness in the leaves and tenderizes the tougher ribs. Like most greens, mustard leaves sometimes contain grit and soil, so they need a thorough washing before cooking and serving them.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Colander
  • Pot
  • Water or broth
  • Trim the tough stems from each mustard leaf with a sharp knife. Sort out any overly wilted, badly damaged or yellowing leaves and throw them away.

  • Place the mustard leaves in a colander. Rinse them with cold water, mixing them around with your hands, until all the grit is removed from the foliage.

  • Fill a large pot with 1 quart of water or chicken broth for every 3 pounds of leaves. Bring the liquid to a full boil over medium-high heat.

  • Add the mustard leaves to the liquid one handful at a time, returning the water to a boil after each addition. Lower the heat so the liquid is at a simmer, then simmer the greens until they are tender. Young leaves usually require 20 minutes of simmering, while tougher older leaves may take up to 45 minutes.

  • Drain the excess liquid from the greens in a colander. Season as desired before serving.

Tips & Warnings

  • Store unwashed, uncooked mustard greens wrapped in moist paper towels in a plastic bag. Keep the greens in the refrigerator crisper drawer for up to five days before preparing.

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