You just have to treat mustard greens like they've never been treated before.
You might be prone to grabbing for their soft frills for salad, whenever you get annoyed by kale's toothy edges. Or wilting them into angry little piles. You appreciate their spunk, but eating a whole bowl can leave you with a cloud of wasabi crawling up the back of your throat.
"I approached the creation of recipes for Afro-Vegan as a collagist -- cutting, pasting, and remixing the ingredients, flavor profiles, and classic dishes of the African continent, Caribbean, and American South," Terry wrote to me.
"Harissa is one of my favorite condiments, and I thought it would be interesting to create a hot pepper paste inspired by it using the Southern staple mustard greens as a foundation." Even though it never existed before now, everything about this makes sense.
Here's how to make it:
This will seem like a lot of ingredients to gather, and a lot of different small tasks to accomplish. It will all pay off in the final pot of harissa, smoky and stinging and bright.
So measure and chop 15 ingredients. In a world of 5-ingredient Genius Recipes, this is unheard of. (But, listen, a 15-ingredient hot sauce has a lot more possibility.)
Next, blanch your mustards just till they go soft.
Make garlic oil.
Toast some coriander and cumin in the same garlicky pan, then grind them up.
Chop more things.
Then blend it all together -- I found a mini-chop worked best.
Got a genius recipe to share -- from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected].
Photos by James Ransom
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I'm an ex-economist, ex-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."