Mustard leaf is a type of bitter cruciferous vegetable in the same family as spinach, kale and kale. With the addition of this versatile vegetable to your diet, the consumption of important nutrients becomes easier and more delicious. After washing a bunch and cutting the stiff stalk, you can cook, steam, or sauté the leaves until their texture is smooth and crisp.
Method 1 of 3: Cooking Leaves Over Low Heat
Step 1. Bring 4 cups (960 ml) of chicken or vegetable stock to a boil over low heat
Put the broth in a deep pot and turn the heat on high until it starts to boil. At that point, lower the fire. You can prepare the mustard leaves in the meantime.
- Add other bolder ingredients to enhance the flavor, such as braised onion or pork belly in hot sauce.
- Another more laborious but delicious option is to make your own broth, boiling pork knuckles in water for two hours.
Step 2. Wash the mustard leaves under running tap water
Gather one or two raw bundles and place them under the faucet to remove residues or soil. Mustard grows close to the ground, so it is very important to wash it well before preparation and consumption.
- Once you've finished washing the bundle, shake or squeeze the sheets with a piece of paper towel to absorb the moisture.
- If you're going to cook a large amount at once, it's best to put the mustard leaves into the sink bowl filled with clean water and wash them all at once.
Step 3. Cut the stalks
Place the washed leaves on a cutting board and, with a sharp knife, remove the lighter stems from the end. You can also break them by hand. This part is usually hard and not good for eating.
- Avoid cutting the edible (and darker) part of the leaf.
- After removing the stalk, the bunch should have leaves of practically the same size, similar to lettuce or endive.
Step 4. Add the leaves to the boiling broth
Push them to the bottom of the pan with the help of a wooden spoon to have enough space for them all. If you think the pan is going to overflow, add a handful at a time until they wilt.
Be quick so you don't accidentally burn yourself
Step 5. Cook them for 45 to 60 minutes
Young, tender leaves should be ready in 45 minutes. The older ones need an hour to get soft.
- Stir the water from time to time so that the vegetables do not stick together.
- With cooking, the leaves lose volume, which is normal. Because of this tendency, it's a good idea to use a larger amount of raw leaves.
Step 6. Drain the broth and serve the vegetables while still hot
Turn off the heat and slowly discard the rest of the broth. Transfer the cooked leaves to a plate. Another option is to keep some of the tasty cooking broth.
- The pot is very hot after so long on the stove. Don't forget to wear gloves so you don't get burned.
- Store what is left in the refrigerator, in an airtight container with a lid, or in an airtight bag. Leaves last for four or five days.
Method 2 of 3: Savoring Steamed Leaves
Step 1. Wash and dry the mustard leaves
Rinse a packet in cold tap water and remove residue and soil. Shake it to remove excess water, then tap it with a paper towel.
- Use your fingers to scrub the vegetable and remove dirt and grime.
- Discard the sticky, stained leaves with signs that they are already beginning to rot.
Step 2. Remove the stalks
Cut or break the stalk in the light green portion by hand, leaving the leaves loose. Throw that part away - unlike the broccoli stalk and other cruciferous vegetables, this one is not good for consumption.
If you prefer, you can also cut the leaves into medium pieces
Step 3. Put 5 cm of water in a pot
Light the heat to medium to high. As soon as the water boils, you can steam the leaves.
- If you have a pan with a removable basket, just snap it onto the edge and place the mustard leaves in the basket.
- Put ½ tablespoon of vinegar in the water to add flavor to the vegetable.
Step 4. Put the leaves in the basket
Add a handful at a time, so that the portion cooks for a few seconds and loses a little volume, making more room for the rest. As soon as you finish filling the basket, cover it.
It is important to keep the pan covered while cooking, as this way the steam cannot escape
Step 5. Cook the vegetables for four to six minutes
Stir the leaves from time to time so they don't all stick together. Otherwise, wait for the steam to do its part. You can tell the leaves are ready when they start to wither.
- The ripest ones need up to ten minutes of steaming, depending on how hard they are and the desired point.
- In this type of cooking, seasoning only comes later.
Step 6. Drain any liquid that may have come off before serving
Hold the lid and turn the pan over the sink to let the water run out. Then press the leaves with the bottom of a spoon or spatula to remove a little more water. Place them on a plate and season to taste.
Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to four or five days, or freeze them in an airtight bowl or zip-lock bag to eat whenever you like
Method 3 of 3: Sauteing the leaves to make them more flavorful
Step 1. Wash and dry the mustard leaves
Keep the leaves under tap water or put everything in a sieve to wash a large wad more efficiently. Then shake them gently to remove excess water or dry them between layers of paper towels.
To sauté the vegetables, it is important that the leaves are drier. That way they have the right texture and no hot oil splashing all over the place when the leaves are put in the pan
Step 2. Cut or break the mustard stalks
Try to remove only the thickest and hardest stems, leaving the leaves intact. Remove the end of the pack, as this part does not soften, no matter how long it stays in the fire.
Step 3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet
Set the heat on medium to high and tilt the pan to spread the oil across its surface evenly. When the oil starts to sizzle slightly, it's time to add the greens.
- You can use any type of cooking oil. The most popular options among chefs are coconut oil, avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil, due to their mild flavor and good fats.
- For a more flavored touch, heat one or two diced onions, a chopped garlic clove, or a little sliced pepper in the oil.
Step 4. Place the leaves in the skillet and saute them for five minutes
Vegetables start to cook quickly as soon as they come into contact with hot oil. Stir the pan from time to time to ensure the heat is evenly distributed.
- Another option is to add 1 cup (240 ml) of chicken or vegetable stock after the vegetable has wilted. A touch of broth guarantees a more moist and tasty final result.
- Leave the pan uncovered to allow excess moisture to evaporate.
Step 5. Season with salt, pepper and other spices to taste
If you want to spice up the leaf a little more, sprinkle a little salt and pepper or increase the spicy side with a dash of cayenne pepper or chili pepper flakes. Finish with the juice of a lemon to give it a sour touch, then serve and savor!
- The sauteed leaves are good on their own or as an accompaniment to pasta, pork chops or fresh fish.
- Keep leftovers in the refrigerator and try to consume them within four or five days - if you're not going to eat them all at once!
- If you're in a hurry or don't have a stove available, you can also microwave the raw leaves in the microwave on high power with 30ml of water for four to five minutes or until they've completely wilted.
- Vegetables go well with saltier meats such as cured pork, bacon, ham and smoked turkey.