February Herb of the Month: Mustard

By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America

Mustard seedThe popularity of mixed baby greens over the past 15 year has evolved into a quest for ever more flavorful greens. Witness the starring role of arugula. Now other greens – including varieties of mustard greens — are coming on strong. Given its increasing popularity The Herb Society of American has named mustard the February Herb of the Month.

While most people think of the yellow sandwich spread, I think of mustard greens. My new favorites are mizuna and tatsio. I learned about them at my local farmers’ market.

Mizuna is popular in the Japanese diet.  It has an interesting, almost lacy leaf that looks Mustard mizunagood in mixed baby greens. Its peppery taste adds depth to a salad mix.

Tatsoi is another Asian green, shaped a bit like spinach, but shinier.

Both add flavor and texture to salad greens and are yummy when wilted like spinach for a healthy side dish. If/when the plants go to seed, those can be harvested for other uses recipes.

Learn more about mustard and its uses at HSA Herb of the Month.

The fascinating facts you’ll find there include  …

  • Medicinal uses have included treating circulation, heart and lung problems, fevers, flu, rheumatism and toothaches. A plaster made to cover the chest to facilitate breathing was very common
  • The Romans made, possibly, the first mustard by combining fermented grape juice with mustard seeds, oil and honey to form a spreadable paste.
  • Cultures around the world use mustard as both prepared spreads and in seed form in cuisines of their regions.

Enjoy and watch for more Herbs of the Month throughout the year.

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