Why mustard is good for you. Mustard has an amazing flavor in the kitchen. Mustard can be found in every cook’s larder and is widely used for many different dishes. A dry-roasted kind, which is called mustard in English-speaking countries or Mustard Marinade as it is commonly known, will bring a balance to spicy and mild dishes.
The oil with fresh curry leaves will give you a richer experience while tempering the seeds gives you that nutty flavor. Once ground, mustard seed releases a warm earthiness and pungency. It also has emulsifying properties that make it perfect for vinaiganet, adding to sauces or even thickening your food.
It’s a taste thing whether you go for the yellow English “sick” type or the mellower European one. Wholegrain types of mustards can have intense vinegary flavors so before adding them to your dish always make sure you want it there!
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Why is mustard good for me?
The Greeks and Romans were onto something when they used mustard for medicinal purposes. The mustard plant, like broccoli, radish and cabbage, belongs to the brassica group of vegetables, which contain health-promoting glucosinolates that are broken down by enzymes in the seeds into isothiocyanates.
Studies show that these compounds give mustard its eye-watering pungency and may actually have an anti-cancer effect. UK soils are generally low in selenium so while eating brassicas like cabbage are good, it’s also important to eat mustards too to ensure you get an adequate amount of selenium with your meal.
Where to buy and what to pay
Anyone interested in learning about a new foodie trend should put indie delis on the list of places to visit. These specialty stores offer an interesting range of mustards and other condiments you can’t find anywhere else. The bigger jars and squeeze bottles also tend to be much more cost-effective. Joanna Blythman is the author of What To Eat (Fourth Estate, £9.99) for £7.99 with free UK p&p at theguardian.com/bookshop.
Grilled mustard haddock
I like to make this mustard marinade which can be used with any type of meat and serve it on braised savoy cabbage with bacon and mashed potatoes. Or for summer, a bitter leaf and orange salad.
- Coat the fish in olive oil, salt and pepper. 2. Add thyme, garlic, mustard and vinegar to the food processor and blend into a paste. 3. Line a tray with foil or greaseproof paper and add the fish to it raw on one side only. 4. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the fish and sprinkle with the mustard seeds so that they mix into the paste completely. 5. Cover the tray and leave for at least 6 hours (or overnight).
- Remove the fish from the fridge, and preheat the grill to its highest setting for about 10 minutes. Then place some foil in the tray of the grill, and pour on a bit more olive oil.
- Grill the pieces of fish over the fire for about 5 minutes, turning them over halfway through. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until it begins to break apart into large flakes.
- Fish cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the pieces you have.
- Rosie Sykes, head chef of Fitzbillies restaurant in Central London (fitzbillies.com), has recently released her first mainstream cookbook, The Kitchen Revolution: Modern Cooking with Quinoa, Coconut Oil, and Other Super Foods (Ebury Press), which offers 100 healthy recipes focused on whole ingredients that don’t rely on processed food. Published to celebrate the World Health Day on April 7th, the book is available to order from theguardian.com/bookshop for £19.99 with free UK postage