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Mustard Greens with Bacon Recipe

Updated on August 3, 2012

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5 stars from 3 ratings of Mustard Greens with Bacon
Red Giant Mustard Greens
Red Giant Mustard Greens | Source

Every year I experiment with a new vegetable in my garden. Sometimes it's a familiar vegetable that I use often in recipes but never before tried to grow. Sometimes it something completely new and unfamiliar. That was the case this year when I planted mustard greens.

Mustard greens are a superfood, we are told, and we should eat more of them. They're high in dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and calcium. That's what led me to the Asian cooking greens section in the Seeds of Change catalog when I was making my annual garden order this spring. Then I saw the picture of large, red-veined leaves with a vibrant purple hue. A nutritional powerhouse that rivals the prettiest of backyard blooms? I was sold. I added a packet of Red Giant seeds to my order even though I had never tasted mustard greens, much less cooked with them.

I allowed a couple square feet of valuable real estate in my kitchen garden for this strange new vegetable, right between the beets and the romaine. As my little patch of mustard greens grew, I found the tender baby greens made a fine addition to a salad, providing just the right amount of peppery bite to milder leaf lettuce. But as the greens matured, they became less and less palatable in raw form. I realized I had no idea how to cook mustard greens. It was time to get to work in the kitchen.

I had difficulty finding a recipe for mustard greens. I even posed a question on HubPages about the best way to cook them, which received just one answer (and was a method I already had tried without success). Undaunted, I continued with my culinary experimentation, discovering that the best way to mellow the assertive greens is by braising them, then adding a splash of vinegar to complement their peppery flavor. I added bacon to provide texture to the dish and, well, because everything's better with bacon.

In the end, I was rewarded with a simple, dish of tender greens with loads of flavor and a lot of nutrients. I served them with barbecued chicken legs and grilled sweet potato fries for a healthy, home-style meal.


Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 20 min
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pound mustard greens, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Source
The greens will reduce substantially in volume as they cook.
The greens will reduce substantially in volume as they cook. | Source

Preparation

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from pan and return to heat. Add onion and cook until transluscent, about 5 minutes. Add mustard greens one handful at a time, stirring into the onions and bacon fat. After all the mustard greens have been added and are starting to wilt, add chicken broth and salt. Cover pan tightly and turn heat to low. Simmer on low for one hour.
  3. Remove lid and turn heat to high to evaporate any remaining water in the pan. Remove from heat, stir in balsamic vinegar and cooked bacon, and adjust seasoning.
A delicious home-cooked meal
A delicious home-cooked meal | Source

Comments

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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Deb, this recipe looks good enough to it. Very useful and voted up!

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      4 years ago from Iowa

      It takes a bit of experimentation with mustard greens, I must admit. The current issue of Bon Appetit has a fabuloas looking soup with mustard greens on the cover. I will have to give it a try.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 

      4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Deborah, I grew up in Virginia and we eat greens of any type but mustard was my least favorite. That's probably because I didn't know how to cook them. A few years ago I started adding bacon and chicken broth and was a bit happier with the result. Now, will add the vinegar and see if that moves them up my "favorite" list. Thanks for not giving up and coming up with something that makes me want to try again too. Voted up ++.

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      5 years ago from Iowa

      I love Swiss chard, Peggy. I grow the rainbow variety so the stalks are various shades of red, yellow, pink, and light green. Just like mustard greens, it's really pretty in the garden. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I think that I would enjoy them better at the small size in salads...but as you said in your other hub...everything is better with bacon! Ha! I know that mustard greens are very popular in the south. I am growing swiss chard in our garden. Love it!

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      5 years ago from Iowa

      Glad you were able to track down a pack of seeds, lemonkerdz. They make such a pretty addition to the garden and great addition to salads! Thanks for the comment.

    • lemonkerdz profile image

      lemonkerdz 

      5 years ago from LIMA, PERU

      Mustard greens are a favorite addition to my salads, although not readily available in peru, i did manage to get a pack of seeds and have a few growing in my garden right now. Apart from salads, i have never thought of using them in cooking. Thanks for the ideas and will give it a go with your recipe.

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      5 years ago from Iowa

      Midget, thanks for commenting. I think mustard greens would be very well-suited for Asian dishes, I'll have to try that. Thanks for the idea.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      We fry these mustard greens with Chili over here in Singapore, or dried shrimp and they are delicious. Thanks for sharing this, and I pin!

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks 2partricias. Mustard greens make a beautiful addition to the garden, but they are a bit of a challenge when it comes time to cook with them because of their pungent flavor. I am sure this recipe would work great with other greens - chard, kale, etc. Thanks for the comment and for adding my recipe to your index!

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 

      6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      This looks good. I am not sure if I've ever seen mustard greens, but I think this would work with other green leafy vegetables too.

      I am adding this to my Recipe Index for HubPages.

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Hi sgbrown. I froze some of my mustard greens, too, so over the winter I'll be able to experiment a bit with the frozen variety. Probably won't be as good, but still, it's nice to be able to eat from the garden in the dead of winter. Thanks for the comment and the share.

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks, Justin! How could it be bad with bacon in it, right? Appreciate the share.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is very close to how we have been cooking our mustard greens for years. I learned this from my Oklahoma born and raised hubby! I boil mine and place in freezer bags so I will have greens all winter. I may try braizing and skip the boiling, sounds better! Voted up and sharing on my recipe blog!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 

      6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      That looks incredibly tasty. Wowsers. UP and shared. Bookmarked

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks for the comment and vote, Lesley. Not sure if mustard greens are my favorite, or if they will even find a place in my garden next year (they probably will), but the bacon does make the dish!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Deborah, Mustard greens and bacon sounds like a match made in heaven!

      Thank you and voted up

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Never tried broccoli greens. Thanks for the tip! The other green I've been reading about is kohlrabi greens. I grow it in my garden, but have only eaten the bulb. I will have to try those greens as well. Thanks also for reading and commenting.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 

      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      I love greens! Mustard greens aren't available in Peru, but we cook broccoli greens instead. Would you believe they're a delicious green? I'll try them with your recipe...thrilled to have it, and developed in your own kitchen makes it even better.

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks, Nell. I always like to try new things, and HubPages is a great place to learn about them.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Hi, I haven't heard of mustard greens before, I learn so much on here! lol! sounds like a great recipe, and looks good too, thanks!

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Absolutely, NMLady. Thanks again!

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing, Gypsy. I hope you enjoy my recipe.

    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 

      6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      I learn so much from blogs like yours! It is nice to share.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Sound so delicious. Thanks for sharing. Will have to try. Passing this on.

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Dr. Makama. It's nice to meet you.

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Hi NMLady. Thanks for the comment. I did blanch and freeze some mustard greens with the thought that I will use them in soup in cooler months. Thanks for affirming that I wasn't wasting my time! : )

    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 

      6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      I grew up eating these. They impart a lot of flavor. Try putting some of the leftovers into a veg soup. Freeze the leftovers and use when you do some veg soup sometime. Zips up the flavor a whole lot!

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks to you both for reading and commenting. My first batch went to seed so I pulled them tonight and the next batch is still at the baby, eat-raw-in-salad stage. But I'm already thinking of new ways to try them when they reach maturity in a few weeks. I'm thinking some sort of Asian stir-fry with a sweet and sour sauce will be next.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Awesome. I love any kind of greens. Looks like you got the recipe right!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 

      6 years ago

      Yum! This looks delicious. I love mustard greens but haven't tried growing them. I'll add them to my garden next year. Voted up and awesome! Take care, Kelley

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