fall beds, fall cooking

Today is a chili kind of day, but dinner got started late, because darkness at two-thirty is messed up and tomatoes need to cook down.

While the remainder of our green tomato harvest roasted with onion and garlic, I headed outside to tend the fall beds.

We’ve already had snow and numerous frosts, so I decided the brassicae was safe from nibbling pests, and swapped out the bug-netting for perimeter bird-netting.

That is when I got a good look at the fall beds for the first time in weeks.

The mustard is off the hook!

Some mizuna is ready for munching as well.

I decided to cook up some greens while waiting for the tomatoes to roast. This is Japanese Red Giant Mustard, and it is living its name!

the cutting board hidden from view is twelve by eighteen inches

Now, to be clear, I’m a Northern Ohio boy. I never had greens beyond spinach (pumpernickel bread bowl with water chestnut spinach dip, hello 80s!) until my husband brought them into my life.

Straight up: collards are all for him, since upbringing and genetics determine the skill set needed for cooking down those greens. But mustard greens I can handle. And I did…

caramelizing onions in bacon fat
torn greens and chopped bacon
ready for the pan
diced spam added to the onions
look at that color!
wilting down the greens
tossed in the bacon and ready to eat

I’d like to point out the profundity of this plant. The early batch last spring went to seed, the leaves got eaten down. So I pulled and dumped them on the driveway dirt pile, which I later used to level spots in the garden.

We now have random bursts of mustard dotting the garden…

This is, by far, the most delicious invasive plant that I’ve ever had in the garden.

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