Thick meaty rhubarb is available in abundance.
Several products have recently debuted for the season in the Union Square Greenmarket and will be generally available this weekend and in the coming week. Bright red and much thicker than the specimens seen last week, rhubarb is a welcome harbinger of late-spring vegetables. Use it to make a pie or crumble. It can also be pickled (as Williamsburg’s Parish Hall has done) or made into jam for use year-round.
Another crop found in abundance is mustard greens, which come in various shades of purple and green. You can use it like spinach in a phyllo pie, or in any cooked application. For use in salad, it should be lightly poached to dispel some bitterness.
Another great application is in Indian recipes, such as saag paneer. Many restaurants substitute spinach for mustard greens, but “saag” refers exclusively to mustard greens, which have a flavor and texture distinctive from spinach. Vegans can substitute potatoes for paneer with great results.
Here’s a link to a good saag paneer recipe (use mustard greens instead of the specified spinach).
Purple mustard greens will lose half their color when cooked.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 19, 2012