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- Simple Food
Apparently this edible plant is quite the pest. If you google it, the words "invasive-plant" and "unwelcome weed" appear over and over. Garlic mustard was brought over from Europe as an over-wintering pot herb. And here in the mid-west this little "pest" is just about all over the place.
The leaves of garlic mustard are round, heart-shaped with a deep green color and lots of little veins. They form low-to-the-ground rosettes in cute little mounds. I have found them mostly under the cover of other larger bushes or plants as they survive quite well in the shade.
Both the root and the leaves of the plant are edible. The leaves smell like garlic when crushed and the roots are long, slender, and white, with the faint smell of horseradish.
The flavor of the leaves is fairly pungent, depending on how mature the leaves are. The younger the plant, the milder the flavor, so pick them when they are small.
The leaves can be used like any other green:
- in quiches
- in soups or stews
- sauteed with other vegetables
- made into a pesto, as in the recipe below
Green Lentils with Wild Garlic Mustard Pesto
Recipe Notes: You could use any pungent green for this recipe. The recipe list seems long, but it takes minutes to throw everything into the food processor and whir it up. Garlic mustard is quite pungent on it’s own, and so is the pesto. But when combined with the earthy lentils it really works. It works so well, in fact, that my husband was disappointed that I hadn’t made more. And he cringes at the word pesto.
- 2 cups green lentils, sprouted or soaked for at least 7 hours and drained
- ~2 cups garlic mustard leaves, packed
- 1/2 - 1 cup romaine lettuce, packed
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup raw parmesan cheese, grated or shaved
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinear
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup brazil nuts or almonds
- Cook lentils in 2-4 cups water until soft. Drain off any excess water.
- While lentils are cooking prepare the pest: In a food processor or blender combine all ingredients and blend until it forms a thick paste. Thin with additional water if necessary. Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary.
- Combine hot lentils with pesto and serve with an additional grating of cheese if desired.
So take a look around your backyard or neighborhood park and see if you can find some free garlic mustard!
my (grain-free) cookbook
All information found on Nourishing Days is editorial in nature and therefore meant to motivate and inspire rather than be construed as medical advice.
Any statements or claims about the health benefits of supplements or foods made here have not been evaluated by the FDA and as such are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease..
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