|Cleavers (Galium aparine) and Garlic Mustard (Alliaria officinalis)|
|Harvested Garlic Mustard laying in wait for the blender|
Garlic Mustard begins as a basal rosette in its first year, growing just 6-8" tall, however in its second year it can grow up to 3 feet with stalked, alternate, heart-shaped leaves with scalloped margins and four-petaled white flowers. Before the flowers open they resemble little heads of broccoli , which is not surprising given that Garlic Mustard and Broccoli share the same family, Brassicaceae.
|Garlic Mustard flower buds|
However instead of making enemies with Garlic Mustard which is certainly not going anywhere, why not make pesto with it? Or add it to your eggs, or salads, or wraps, or gazpacho for that matter?
|Garlic Mustard Pesto tossed with orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, and black olives|
Garlic Mustard Pesto
3 c of packed Garlic Mustard Greens
3-4 Garlic Mustard roots diced (optional)
3/4 c of olive oil
3/4 c walnuts
3 cloves garlic
1/2 c parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Combine greens, roots, walnuts, and garlic in a blender or food processor to combine, gradually adding olive oil to desired consistency. Add parmesan cheese to combine and, salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: 2 c pesto
Toss with your favorite pasta, spread atop a pizza, or smear on a wrap with veggies and cheese.