I have not been creating recipes these past few days because, well, I’ve been creating photos. Of course many of these are food-related because what do I love more than experimenting with my camera, and food, and the friendly faces in my life? Little else.
On a side note, I have been very much enjoying black rice as of lately. One, its color is beautiful. And two, it has a flavor all in its own that begs to be saved with delicate seasoning. Here, I sautéed mustard greens in a bit of olive oil and garlic, then gave them a chop before adding to a big bowl of cooked black rice. I seasoned this with toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, and red chili pepper flakes, and cracked a fried egg on top. If you plan to recreate, salt and pepper, to your taste, and throw some cilantro in too, as I did, if you please. Hot sauce would really seal the deal.
As a kid, I despised mustard greens. I thought they tasted like dandelions, and anyone who ate dandelions was a crazy person in my eyes. My parents happened to be fond of both mustard and dandelion greens, as if they weren’t already crazy enough. Loading up our garden with the green curly leaves, dinner after dinner I’d be pushing them to the edge of my plate.
It took years for mustard greens to grown on me. I wish I could say I found some miracle cooking method to take the bite out of them, but in honesty it’s my tastebuds that have changed, allowing me to revel in the very element I once hated about these greens. From beer to coffee, I prefer everything on the bitter side these days (desserts excluded). It’s the component that packs mustard with such a depth of flavor I now want to top my egg sandwiches with every morning.
I still like to cut the bite by adding in other greens, like collards, especially as mustard reaches the end of its season and starts to grow stronger in taste. However, this recipe still has quite the bitter kick, so if that’s not your tastebud’s forte quite yet, I wouldn’t judge you for not reaching for this recipe. Though, I find it to be the perfect compliment to ingredients like fried eggs. A glass of sweet juice on the side, and you’ll be golden.
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It’s only in the past two years that I’ve grown fond of bitter greens like broccoli rabe, dandelion, and mustard. My little kid taste buds used to find bitter to be brutal. But lately I’ve been digging the flavor element, along with other things I used to detest, like red wine and hot sauce. I particularly enjoy stronger flavored, bitter ingredients when utilized as toppings for a heartier main. Adding greens like mustard is almost like topping off a dish with a sharp cheese, although the addition is much lighter than any creamy dairy product. Like cheese, they add a whole depth of flavor without nearly any effort needed.
Here, I use olive oil to draw out the natural sweetness of a simple onion, offsetting some of the sharpness of the greens. I then use them to top off a hearty chipotle vegan sausage, pairing the dense, spicy protein with the profusely flavorful, yet light heap of mustard greens. I then finish it off with a simple and creamy mustard sauce. Mustard + mustard turns out to be a good combination.
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