How it grows on May 7, 2008
The first edibles from this year's garden turned out to be chives and mustard greens. We've been making good use of the chives; I love them on a baked or grilled potato or mixed into a potato salad.
The mustard greens are another story; those are taking a bit of getting used to. Eaten raw, they're so sharp and peppery that I can just about feel the optical nerves of my eyeballs tying into a knot in the back of my head, just before my sinus cavities get blasted out. It sounds like I'm exaggerating, I know, but really, these greens pack a punch -- almost like horseradish -- and they have that kind of effect on me. I've found that cooking the leaves tames the spiciness, and that's the way I prefer to eat them. I usually chop a few leaves, boil them in water for a few minutes, and then stir them into pasta. They're good that way.
Culinary qualities aside, I've discovered that the Red Giant mustard greens make a beautiful visual addition to the garden in the early spring when not much else is going on. I planted these from seed in my community garden plot last July, transplanted them to our new home last October, and they really started taking off in February. Now they're bolting to seed, which I plan to collect for a new crop of mustards in the fall.