The Feisty Forager: Wild Mustard

March Madness — Day 22

Wild mustard, above, next to creasy green leaf, below (photo © SG Séguret)

Mustard greens are yet another expression of the Brassicaceae family, and are the delight of spring fields in France, where they proliferate and can often be seen painting the countryside in generous swaths of yellow (when in blossom), frequently offset by brilliant red fields of poppies, and sometimes the soft blue of flax.

Wild mustard is one of more than 3000 species in the mustard family. Like collards and kale and creasy greens, it can be sautéed in bacon fat, and doused in vinegar, and served alongside any meat (pork chops would be my preference), or blended in with mashed potatoes, or chopped and thrown into a quiche or an omelette.

Try them fried up with eggs for breakfast, or as a topping for a steak, or an underpinning for a nice piece of fish. Blend them into a pesto and toss with pasta, or spread on a pizza crust. Be sure to make generous use of the yellow four-petaled flowers as a garnish for salads or anything else you might be serving. As always, experiment!

This article is one of a month-long series of foraged treasures. For more recipes from the field and forest, check out Appalachian Appetite: Recipes from the Heart of America.



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SG Séguret

Susi Gott Séguret, fiddler, dancer, photographer, chef, is author of multiple works, including Appalachian Appetite, Child of the Woods & Cooking with Truffles.