|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 2g||2%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||2%|
|Total Carbohydrate 27g||10%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||16%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Perhaps the assertive-tasting mustard greens aren't in your repertoire. Maybe you're familiar enough with them to know that these greens (and their brassica family siblings kale and collards) are somewhat synonymous with Southern cooking. In this recipe, the strong peppery bite plays well when paired with classic counterparts such as bacon, salt, and onions. When you simmer these ingredients together, something magical happens. The taste mellows and balances out.
You can use many of these cooking greens interchangeably in recipes like this one, but understanding their differences is helpful. Collards have long, flat leaves and a mild flavor. Kale's varieties range from curly and green, purply-red (redbor), and dark green and bumpy with smooth edges (lacinato, or Tuscan). Turnip greens can be substituted, too—they're smaller, more tender, and a little sweeter than collards.
Any way you make them, just be sure to serve with cornbread to achieve the full Southern taste experience.
- 2 pounds mustard greens (about 2 bunches)
- 4 ounces (about 4 strips) thickly sliced bacon (diced)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Optional: 1 teaspoon sugar
- Optional: Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
Gather the ingredients.
Thoroughly wash the mustard greens in 2 to 3 changes of water, or until you can't feel any grit in the bottom of the sink. Trim off and discard the thick stems and coarsely chop the leaves.
Bring 1 cup of water to boil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Add the washed greens, one handful at a time, as the leaves wilt down. Once all of the greens are in the pot, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the greens are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the greens in a colander, squeezing out any excess moisture, and set aside.
Wipe out the pot and add the bacon. Fry over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Add the chopped onion to the bacon drippings in the pot and sauté over medium heat until the onion is soft and lightly browned.
Return the bacon to the pot and stir to combine.
Add the cooked greens to the pot and stir in 1 1/2 cups of water.
Add salt and pepper to taste, along with the optional sugar and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired. Stir to combine.
Cover the pot and simmer the greens over low heat until tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
Mustard seeds come from this plant, but if you see seeds on the greens when shopping, don't buy that bunch. The greens taste best without seeds.
- A classic Southern addition to mustard greens is hog jowl. An easier and possibly more appealing way to get this flavor is to use leftover ham or buy smoked ham from the deli.
- Spice your mustard greens up with thyme, Old Bay seasoning, or garlic for a twist on the classic.
How to Store Cooked Mustard Greens
In terms of texture, cooked greens are really the best the day you make them, but you can keep them covered and refrigerated up 3 to 4 days. Add a little bit of water or oil to the pan and reheat gently. Eat them as is, or add to a cooked pork sandwich, or chop them up and put them in an omelet or frittata.