You can see it growing alongside pretty much any given roadway right now. It's called garlic mustard. A knee to thigh high plant with tiny white flowers at its top. You might even have some growing in your yard or garden. Pull it out!
While it is pretty, the problem is that it's invasive. Just one garlic mustard plant produces hundreds of seeds. And it's taking over!
The good news is that it comes out easily and you can eat it!
Here's a recipe I came up with along with some inspiration from Chef Marianne Miller of the Saga Hill Cooking School.
Garlic mustard pesto:
- Lots of garlic mustard leaves, removed from stem (Not the flowers)
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1tsp salt
- 1tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Thoroughly wash and dry the garlic mustard leaves. (Be sure the plants you pick for eating have not been sprayed with pesticides.) the leaves remove easily and similar to de-stemming kale or chard. Lightly grasp the top of the stem just beneath the flower. Run your fingers down the stem to remove the leaves.
Add the leaves and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor. Before mixing, the food processor should be filled with leaves to the max fill line. Pulse until mixture is smooth but not uniform. You can't go wrong here so feel free to not measure. Add more olive oil if you would like the pesto thinner, leave some out if you'd like it to have a thicker consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
That's it! It's done! You can serve it just like you would a basil pesto. Spread it on grilled bread. Serve with pasta and parmesan cheese. Swirl it into your favorite hummus.
And get crazy with the ingredients too. Add some grated parmesan or sun dried tomatoes. Throw in some lime and cumin. Switch out the sunflower seeds for pumpkin seeds or pine nuts. The list is endless. Have fun and enjoy!
And side note: Help spread the word about this invasive plant that needs to be pulled out!