Red mustard greens have broad wrinkled leaves with a violet purple overlay and purple-green variegation. Red mustard leaves are succulent and tender when young with a moderate peppery note and subtle nutty finish. As they mature, flavours sharpen and become more robust with notes of pepper, garlic and mustard.
Red Mustard greens are rich in vitamins A, C and K. They contain compounds which have cancer preventing benefits, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and natural detoxifying properties.
Red mustard greens are Chinese in origin, but they eventually naturalized in Japan and quickly became a commonly grown vegetable. Taxonomists identify as many as seventeen subgroups of mustard greens that can differ sharply in heat, flavour, size and colour. Differentiation in soil types and temperatures can affect the flavour and heat level of mustard greens. All Red mustard varieties prefer cool climates for growing with full sun and rich soil with temperatures below 68°F. Frost is tolerable, but freezing temperatures will kill crops.
My Red Mustard Experiment:
I had no idea that there are 17 types of mustard greens! I found the organic seeds online and I thought it sounded interesting so I bought them. This is another group of leafy greens to explore, the taste is different, peppery and adds an amazing flavour to your salads.
The variety I’ve been experimenting with this year it doesn’t grow very tall, more like baby spinach. The seeds were sowed in March, outdoors and in April we were already picking up baby leaves for salads.
New leaves kept growing right about till the end of June when it just stopped, the plants dried out slowly (not because of lack of water), probably due to the strong heatwave or maybe the plants have run their course.
I will certainly buy different seeds of Red Mustard and try again with more varieties to experience the interesting flavours.