We've misunderstood mustard greens this whole time. (We were thinking greens, when we should have been thinking mustard.) Instead of setting them loose in a salad bowl and willing everything else to keep up, try capturing and channeling their heat, and bottling it -- as mustard green harissa. Use it anywhere your food needs livening up. Terry recommends incorporating a few tablespoons when cooking couscous and grains, and using it as a flavor base for soups, stews, and marinades. We also liked it in dressings for roasted vegetables. Adapted slightly from Afro-Vegan (Ten Speed Press, 2014). —Genius Recipes
about 1 cup
1 1/4 teaspoons
coarse sea salt (divided)
packed chopped mustard greens
extra-virgin olive oil
cloves garlic, minced
chopped jalapeño chiles (seeds and ribs removed only if you want it less spicy)
red pepper flakes
minced flat-leaf parsley
freshly squeezed lemon juice
red wine vinegar
In This Recipe
Put about 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, then add the mustard greens. Return to a boil and cook uncovered until the greens are wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain well.
Warm the oil in a small skillet over low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic starts to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small heatproof bowl and set aside to cool.
In the same skillet, toast the coriander and cumin, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant. Let cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a mortar or spice grinder and grind into a fine powder.
Transfer the powder to a blender (we found a mini-food processor works best). Add the jalapeños, paprika, red pepper flakes, cayenne, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, vinegar, water, mustard greens, garlic oil, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Puree until smooth.
Taste and season with more salt if desired. Use immediately or store in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Senior Editor Kristen Miglore.