When you think of “mustard greens,” this is probably what comes to mind. Actually a type of mustard green rather than a specific variety, curly-leafed greens are known for their strong peppery flavor and large, frilly greens. It’s a nutrition-rich variety too, as each serving is a wonderful source of Vitamin A, C and K. Perhaps most importantly, if you want that typical mustard green flavor, this is your best bet.
The closest cousin to curly-leafed mustard, flat-leafed varieties have a subtler flavor and a signature broad and flat leaf structure. These greens really shine in the cooking process and are particularly good friends to wet cooking processes like stewing or braising. In terms of complimentary flavors, try working with fresh herbs or pork.
True to its name, mustard spinach is closer in flavor and appearance to spinach rather than the common curly-leafed variety. As you would expect, this type of mustard green can be substituted for spinach with little to no added effort. Interestingly enough, even though the two share similar flavors and textures, they’re not botanically related.
Also known as Japanese mustard greens, Mizuna is potentially the most prominent Asian member of the mustard family. Mizuna is substantially more mellow than curly-leafed mustard greens and is more reminiscent of arugula in terms of flavor. This variety pairs particularly well with meat and is a great option for dishes that only call for a mild peppery flavor.
Essentially the Asian version of mustard spinach, Komatsuna is a particularly versatile green for eastern inspired dishes. From salads to stir-frys and everything in between, Komatsuna brings a dependable flavor and strong nutritional profile to the plate. For those who want to experiment, we’d recommend trying pickled Komatsuna.