Mustard has been cultivated for over 5000 years for its seed and leaf. The annual black mustard ( Brassica nigra) is traditionally grown for its seeds which are used as a spice, but can also be grown in the garden as a salad or stir-fry green.
Studies show the antioxidant content can reduce the rate of bladder, colon and lung cancers. Brassica juncea Mustard Streaks is my favourite mustard microgreen and very flexible. It is easily grown and likes it on the cool side, but will also grow fine in the heat, germinating readily from 10-20°C.
The lacy, lime-green leaves have a sweet, hot mustard flavour. They can be harvested at microgreen stage, or as baby salad greens. I add seed to my mesclun mix to give a hot peppery accent to the milder tasting greens. You can also grow it separately and use it to spice up any salad.
Mizuna is the Japanese name for two species of mustard greens, Brassica juncea and B. rapa, grown extensively in Japan. While there are more exciting greens for summer use, mizuna is excellent for bulking up in the cooler months as it is one of the fastest-growing greens under cold conditions. I like Red Coral which has a blush of burgundy and a sweet, fresh mustard taste.