Yes, mustard greens grow in Louisiana: they are a cool weather plant and grow well in the fall here. I’ve been growing them for 3 years now.
The first year I got a late start and didn’t get the transplants going until the middle of October. Even so, they were quite large by Thanksgiving. Last year I planted mustard seeds – several varieties – in September and had more mustard greens than I knew what to do with. This year I planted 8 plants and harvested 2 pounds today. I cut the plants off close to the ground, and I’m sure they will come back. We still haven’t had a frost – it is in the 80’s – more like summer.
In true southern fashion, I cooked mustard greens and cornbread. The mustard greens were braised in a small amount of cooking liquid, thus keeping in the nutrients. I made the cornbread from scratch, using plain yogurt. Both were very tasty.
Braised Mustard Greens
1 pound fresh mustard greens
1 Tbsp canola-corn oil blend (any cooking oil will do)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
Method and Steps:
- Wash the mustard greens well, remove thick stems, chop and set aside.
- Heat the oil in large, heavy pot, add the onion and garlic and stir. Turn heat down to medium-low and continue to stir and cook until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add the red pepper flakes and stir.
- Add the water, then add the mustard greens to the pot in several batches, stirring to coat. Turn up the heat until the water boils, then cover and return the heat down to medium. Cook 5 minutes.
- Remove lid, add the cider vinegar and cook until most of the liquid evaporates.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup margarine, melted
Method and Steps:
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. Oil a square 8″ baking pan.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In another bowl, mix together the yogurt, eggs and margarine.
- Fold the yogurt mixture into the flour, blending only enough to coat the flour. The batter will be lumpy. Do not over-stir.
- Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cornbread is golden on top, pulls away from edges, and a toothpick comes out mostly clean. (My oven is hot, you may need 25 minutes baking time.)
- Mustard greens — being a dark green leafy vegetable — are high in nutrients, Vitamin A and Vitamin C come to mind.
- Be prepared to cook or preserve the mustard greens as soon as they get large. If you leave them go too long, the caterpillars and other garden residents discover them and begin to eat them.