Now those who frequent the blog know that I love mustard, making mustard and using mustad, but i also like growing mustard. so here is a rundown for this week's
Herb of the Week - Mustard (Brassica spp.)
|courtesy of Peggy Trowbridge Flippone|
Food historians think mustard was first cultivated in
The early Romans allegedly were among the first to prepare the spicy paste by mixing crushed seeds with the young, unfermented juice of wine grapes, known as “must.” (“Mustard” comes from the Latin mustum
Mustard does require bright sun. Remember Mustard is an annual so sowing a new crop outdoors once the soil has warmed with give you more in the summer. You simply plant the seeds of this annual about 3 inches apart in a sunny garden site in either early spring or late summer. Like other brassicas, mustard thrives in cool weather. The tender young leaves will be ready to pick just a few weeks after the seeds sprout.
Take care before you plant mustard in your garden, however, as this easy-to-grow plant has become a troublesome weed in many states, due to the proliferation of its seeds. Before you grow mustard for seed, check with your
To harvest the seeds, allow some of the plants to mature and flower. Seed pods will follow, about three months after planting. Harvest the pods when the plants begin to yellow, but before the pods break open and spill the seeds onto the ground. Store the seeds in a dry location until you are ready to use them, either whole or ground.
Next time you find yourself in
“The idea came to me in 1986, after my Boston Red Sox lost the World Series,” museum curator and CMO (Chief Mustard Officer) Barry Levenson says. “I found myself walking the aisles of an all-night grocery store.
“When I got to the mustard aisle, I heard a voice saying, ‘if you collect us, they will come.’” Levenson swears it’s true.
Next time you are playing trvial pursuit remember these mustard facts: One pound of mustard contains about 250,000 seeds. Most of the mustard seeds used in
For centuries, people have eaten young mustard greens in salads. Loaded with vitamin A, mustard greens also are an excellent source of calcium and vitamin C. Most varieties grown for greens are of the spicy, brown-seeded type, B. juncea. Cooks subdue the bitter and pungent mature leaves by sautéing, stir-frying, braising, boiling and stewing them, the way you would prepare kale or turnip greens. Since antiquity, mustard seeds have been used to cure ailments, as well as to preserve perishables. Mustard poultices are still used as a household remedy for bronchitis and muscular aches.
Cut the leaves when the plant is 3 inches high and use as a garnish for steaks, salads and soups. The larger, older leaves can be cooked like spinach, but you will find that mustard greens have a more bitter taste. Grind the seed to make mustard powder, and use the whole seed as a pickling spice.