My garden is under siege - mustard greens are exploding out of my planters and we can't eat them fast enough. In the last few weeks, they've doubled in size! Must have been the recent heat-wave - though its freezing outside now! Mustard greens are great on sandwiches and a spicy addition to salads. They're also easy to fry up and serve as a side of greens. But I wasn't in the mood. Instead - I decided to pickle them.
Greens of all kind cook up quickly, so I started with the pickling mixture first.
Pickling Solution: 1.5 cups of cider vinegar 1.5 cups of distilled white vinegar 3 cups of water 1 tbsp sugar 1 tbsp kosher salt 2 tbsp pickling spices 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
**Since I literally came up with this on a whim - I did not intend to make this shelf stable, nor should you. When this was boiled, sautéed, jarred & cooled, it went directly into the fridge. And it will be devoured within 2 weeks**
Method: - Wash the greens! - In a large heavy pot, add the garlic, vinegar, salt, and sugar. - While the pickling solution comes up to a simmer, and the salt and sugar dissolve, put half of the pickling spices in the jar, and the other half into the pot. - In a sauté pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp sesame oil. Gently wilt the greens. Add a sprinkling of salt. Do not walk away. In a matter of seconds it will reduce from a mound of greens into a few singular strands. You do not want to over cook them! - With tongs, transfer the greens - and any remaining cooking liquid - to the pickle jar - Using a canning funnel, carefully ladle the pickling solution over the greens. Fill up the jar and close it. Allow it to cool on a rack - or outside - for a few hours, then pop it in the fridge. - The greens will be ready to eat in 24 hours, but the longer they are in the jar, the more pickled. - Before serving, make sure rogue pickling spices don't make their way into your meal. - Enjoy in a multitude of ways: in a pork and gruyere panino, in fried rice, or - my current fav - as a soup garnish.
It's amazing how a little time and a few spices can transform these wild and crazy greens into a mellow and delicious condiment. Last night I stirred a healthy spoonful into a big bowl of homemade pho. The greens were a perfect match with the rich beef and sharp lime. Happy pickling!