Back in May I raided the spice rack and propagated a few brown mustard seeds, just from a packet of seeds from the supermarket.
It’s hard to plant just one of something! You can eat a few young mustard leaves in salads and stir fries, but most of the harvest is in the seeds, and one mustard plant, one of those tiny little seeds, will grow over a metre tall, dominate most of a square metre of space, and yield enough mustard seed to keep us going all year. I still have another five or six plants in the garden. This mustard recipe is good, maybe even good enough that I will still have enthusiasm for processing it by the time the last one is ready for harvest!
Wait until the seeds are fully mature and the seed pods going yellow, then cut the whole plant off at the base. Hang it upside down with the head in a paper bag in a sunny spot for a week or so. The seed pods should go brittle and easy to crush.
Tip the seeds into a baking tray and blow gently to winnow out the pods.
Mix together and allow to soak overnight:
- a third of a cup of brown mustard seed
- a dessertspoon of black peppercorns
- ¼ cup of vinegar
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
The next day, strain the seeds and lightly crush them in a mortar and pestle. Put the lightly crushed seeds along with all the liquid you soaked them in in a food processor with:
- a small handful of fresh thyme leaves and
- 2-3 dessertspoons of lemon juice.
Blend until it goes creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning. It will taste quite sharp – it needs to mature a bit to develop the taste – but you should be able to decide if it needs more salt, sugar or lemon juice.
It will last several months in the fridge and will get better as the flavour mellows and matures. Great on a cheese and tomato sandwich, in kangaroo stroganoff, in cauliflower cheese soup.
(If you’re up for another recipe, Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial blogged hers last week too – it must be mustard season!)