Since it’s not blatantly obvious, I’ll spell it out… I’ve decided to get a little french around here for the next couple of months. We’ve had Mussels in White Wine, Lemon Madeleines and now we have Mustard.
It might be the Romans who first invented mustard but it was the french who mastered it. Dijon mustard dates back as far as the 13th century and in 1937 was granted an Appelation d’origine contrôlée.* An AOC certification touts a product as the best of the best. To obtain it, your product has to be nurtured and created under the strictest standards and be the absolute best that it can be! We should all take a leaf out of their book and demand excellence!
Mustard plants are part of the cruciferous family that includes broccoli, cabbage, caulifower and kohlrabi etc. There are three main varieties whose seeds are collected for their culinary and medicinal purposes: the black, the brown and the white – which actually looks yellow. Black mustard seeds are the most potent in flavour, white mustard seeds the mildest and the brown ones, used to make Dijon mustard, are somewhere in the middle. You can use the leaves but lets just say they have an acquired taste.
Fun Fact – throw mustard seeds into a hot skillet and wait for the POP to bring out maximum flavour and earthy sweetness.
The healthy bits… Like all cruciferous vegetables, mustard seeds contain high amounts of the phytochemicals glucosinolates. They are the little fellows responsible for mustards pungency. They also have kick-ass anti-cancer properties. Studies show that glucosinolates elevate antioxidant defense mechanisms and increase the body’s ability to detox and eliminate harmful chemicals and hormones.*
I know mustard tends to be an accompaniment to meat dishes but never forget how good a solid honey-mustard salad dressing poured over a steaming roast vegetable salad can be. Or perhaps spread over a veggie burger. Need some other flavour combination ideas? How about mustard-coriander-lime & yoghurt? Or mustard-mayple-pecans & tempeh? If you’re not a mustard fan, what condiment do you always reach for at the dinner table?
1/4 C yellow mustard seeds1/4 C black mustard seeds
1/3 C white wine vinegar
1/3 C brown rice vinegar
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours
2. Blend until desired consistency is reached, you may need to scoop down the sides of the blender a few times.
Thermo: Blend 3secs/speed 7, scrap down sides, then blend 10sec/speed 4
- Use a blender or mortar and pestle to crush the mustard seeds before soaking, gives a boost of flavour and a smoother consistency.
- Add a little water to thin as desired
- Add 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper for a real kick
- Add another tablespoon of honey for a sweeter variety
- Add some herbs for variety – tarragon, basil, parsley, chives
- Vegan – use brown rice syrup instead of honey
- Apple cidar vinegar works too