In keeping with our desire to eat seasonally and select foods that are available in the fields or in the garden, I looked outside and saw a view as if looking at an Impressionist oil painting of green fields that were splattered with yellow. This golden color could be seen in great swathes interspersed with smaller blotches, but wherever it was seen, it brightened the view like a sparkling jewel. This massive biomass was our spring growth of wild mustard, Synapis arvensis. It is now widespread worldwide, although it probably originated in the Mediterranean region, and it sure abounds in Israel. I have no idea why they call this “white mustard” and not yellow mustard, but it is the first cousin of “black mustard,” Bracica junceae, both belonging to the Family, Brassicaceae which includes cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, and rapeseed. Our wild mustard is actually cultivated in various parts of the world for commercial production of mustard, with Canada being the major grower, producing 90% of the world’s mustard seeds. These can be pressed to produce an oil which can be transformed into biodiesel and even the leftover meal after pressing out the oil can be used as a natural pesticide. The flowers are a bright yellow gold color with soft petals. They ascend on their stem, leaving behind small pods which will contain the much coveted seeds used to make the mustard that you purchase in the supermarket. The leaves are edible, but I prefer to munch on the flowers and that is what I used in this omelet. They have a mildly pungent and slightly spicy gentle mustard taste.
The omelet was made in the usual manner as all of our previous omelets. For specific instructions see previous omelet posts which can be found in the “Omelet of the Week” section above, under the picture at the top of this page. Despite the spicy flavor of mustard, I still started with a small hot pepper cut up into the hot olive oil. I used a lot of mustard flowers, as you can see in this picture. Then came the layer of any kind of cheese(s) over the mustard flowers, before flipping the empty half circle of frying egg over to enclose the contents of the omelet. I must add that when I made this for a visiting friend a few days later, I used sesame butter instead of cheese. I liked this better than the omelet with the cheese.
Voila, there you have one of the best omelets you have ever eaten. Bon Apetit, whichever one you make. Enjoy the wonderful flavors of this abundant plant as they mix with the other contents and the fried egg. Mmmmmmm good
Incidentally, for ideas about other ways to prepare the wild mustard, check out Penniless Parenting’s article entitled “Wild Mustard – Foraged Food” It is well written in an upbeat style and contains many helpful photographs of the plant and ideas about its preparation for the dinner table.