Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

Mustard Greens Salad? Oh, yeah. Raw mustard greens, pears, pecans, parmesan cheese & lemony-thyme vinaigrette.

View Recipe
Mustard Greens Salad? Oh, yeah., Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

Wait. Mustard greens in salad? Like raw? Oh yes. Are you guys already on this tip and I’m totally out of the loop or what? Either way, I’m definitely a little embarrassed to say that I just tried raw mustard greens for the first time about a month ago. And I live in the South! So there’s no excuse. I’ve had them cooked, but it’s never occurred to me to throw them in a salad. Always, always with the kale. You know, I really needed a new salad green in my life. So mustard greens it most enthusiastically is.

Not only is it delicious, this salad is such a pretty sign of spring: greenish-yellow ruffles with blushing pear slivers peeking through.

mustard greens salad
Mustard greens are similar to kale in that tough and flavor-packed way, but they’re much leafier and less “green” tasting. They actually taste surprisingly mustardy. Go figure. And because their leaves are softer, mustard greens are more manageable to eat in raw form than kale is. They’re like if arugula and kale had a lovechild; so, mustardy instead of black-peppery. The essence of mustard hits you right in the nasal cavity. In a good way. Hope that made sense. I’d recommend tearing the greens into small, bite-size pieces, and you can even toss with another, milder lettuce like frisee, red leaf or bib.

mustard greens leaf
And this lemony-thyme vinaigrette is one of those 30-second dressings you can whiz right up. Just put lemon juice, agave, salt & black pepper, fresh thyme leaves, olive oil and a dash of white balsamic vinegar in a jar—and shake it up real good.

lemon thyme vinaigrette
Pecans, delicately slivered pears and Parm cheese help balance out the mustardy kick from the greens with a little nutty sweetness. Other nice additions or substitutions are: fig, avocado or goat cheese instead of parmesan.

pecans pears parmesan
Another great thing about mustard greens is that, like kale, they hold up great in dressing and won’t get soggy too quickly. I think they’re actually quite nice naturally wilted a tad from the acid in your vinaigrette.

mustard greens salad table

Print RecipeBack to Top


Feel free to also mix in some milder lettuces like: frisee, red leaf or bib. Dressing keeps for up to 4 days in the fridge. Avocado or goat cheese is also nice as a sub for parm cheese.

You need:

  • Mustard greens
  • 1 firm but ripe pear
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1/3 cup shaved or grated parmesan cheese
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Splash white balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbs agave or honey
  • About 1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. Place lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, agave, pinch of salt & pepper and fresh thyme leaves into a jar and secure lid. Shake until well combined and dressing begins to thicken. Set aside.
  2. Wash and dry mustard greens and tear leaves into bite-size pieces. Slice pears into thin slivers using a sharp knife or mandolin. Break the shelled pecans into pieces. Place mustard greens into large serving bowl and toss with desired amount of dressing. Add pears and cheese and pecans and toss again a little additional dressing.



  1. Posted April 18, 2014 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

    Love using white balsamic in salad dressing, it gives a great little punch. Great idea to mix mustard greens with other types of greens, I’m a big fan, but every once in a while you get a few leaves that are pretty spicy. Enjoy that!

  2. Posted April 22, 2014 at 8:55 AM | Permalink

    Love the looks of this salad, it’s simply gorgeous. You are not alone though, I haven’t eaten mustard greens raw either, but you totally have me turned on to them now! Although not sure how easily I can find them here in Switzerland. But I love the pear, pecan, and lemon dressing combo!

  3. Devin
    Posted April 22, 2014 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

    It’s never occurred to me to eat mustard greens raw! I definitely have to try this. Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Catherine
    Posted April 28, 2014 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

    Going to try this! Thanks!

  5. Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:34 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post :)

  6. Posted December 29, 2014 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

    this dressing sounds refreshing and I love your photography