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GARDEN GOODIES: Mustard plant

For this week's segment of Garden Goodies, Justin Loew made a salad with a new seed he's never planted until this year.

Brown mustard, Chinese mustard, Indian mustard, leaf mustard, Oriental mustard and vegetable mustard, are all a species of mustard plant. The type of mustard Justin Loew is growing in his garden this year is called "Florida Mustard."  

Mustard plant from Justin's garden

The leaves, seeds, and stems of this mustard variety are edible. The plant appears in some form in African, Nepali, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Japaanse, Korean and African-American (soul food) cuisines. Cultivars of B. juncea are grown for their greens,  and for the production of oilseed. The mustard condiment made from the seeds of the B. juncea is called brown mustard and is considered to be spicier than yellow mustard.

Today we enjoyed a simple salad of mixed greens with a "sharper" flavor due to the mustard greens being included. The key to making a good salad that people (and kids) will eat is to add other healthy toppings such as cheese, onions, and nuts plus your favorite spices like garlic. In addition, you can make a more healthy salad by cutting your normal favorite salad dressing with olive oil. You will still have a lot of flavor but you will be cutting out a lot of sugar and unhealthy highly processed oils such as canola oil and soybean oil, which are ubiquitous in most commercial salad dressings.

Neena Pacholke

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