Courtesy Photo

It’s only fitting that six-foot mustard plants were what first attracted the McGrath family to the Oxnard plain way back in 1868, for right now they’re growing one of the loveliest winter greens I’ve both tasted and seen, ruby streaks mustard. There are a whole junk of brassica juncea out there, but we tend to see the larger mustard green leaf, and its size is a hint; it usually packs a serious spice punch, too, sometimes achieving wasabi-level wickedness. Ruby streaks, on the other hand, is frillier in leaf, practically lacy, and less potent. There is a pepper kick, yes, but it doesn’t overpower. Even better, the leaves themselves are softer than many greens, so a perfect addition to spice up a salad, too, as they don’t need a braise to be chewable. The gorgeous green-going-to-red leaves aren’t just empty pretty things either, as they bring you high levels of Vitamin A, C, and K, and they might even help lower cholesterol. McGrath sells ruby streaks at the Saturday-morning Farmers Market.


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