Last spring, Mike and I learned about wild morel mushrooms, and discovered people scoured the land clean of ‘em! Knowing garlic mustard was edible, we thought if it was promoted as a highly desirable delicacy, like the morels, we might actually eradicate it. I researched and found various recipes online.
Last week, I harvested some from the yard and made pesto for pasta sauce. It was REALLY good!!! It has a mild, nutty flavor. In fact, it was so good, we joked about planting a small square of it in the garden. (I promise, it was just a joke!) Because it would be so easy to grow, and is so good, it may not be a great idea to widely promote it…but I thought I’d share the recipe with everyone here. Now that we have so much spare time (since the garlic mustard fields have been greatly reduced compared to previous years), it may be a reward for pulling the remaining straggling plants each year.
I only used the leaves, as this recipe instructed, but I read in other recipes, that the tap roots may also be used. It was suggested to rinse thoroughly 2-3 times, to wash off any animal urine (that sounded kind of gross, but it would be the case with any garden vegetables, wouldn’t it?). I used a mortar and pestle, but had to resort to a knife to help shred the leaves. I think a food processor may work better. It was very easy and very tasty!! Here’s the recipe:
Garlic Mustard Pesto
I recommend two high-end Italian cheeses here, but you could easily substitute the domestic varieties. Don’t use the powdery stuff in the green cylinder, though. It’s full of so much cellulose you’d be better off shredding the cardboard it comes in.
From pest to pesto.
2 cloves of garlic
4 cups (packed) fresh garlic mustard leaves, washed
1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons of oven-toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons of grated Pecorino cheese
3 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 cup of olive oil
Put the garlic, the washed garlic mustard leaves, the salt (which helps to preserve the green of the leaves), and the pine nuts into the mortar.
Slowly mix with the pestle and add the mixed cheeses a little at a time.
When the mixture is smooth and creamy, add olive oil to taste (to the texture you prefer) and stir to incorporate.
To dress your pasta with the pesto, always dilute the pesto with a little of the cooking water from the pasta.