In the 19th century, Europeans used garlic mustard as a food crop.  They brought it over to North America and from there this hearty vegetable left the gardens and spread out of the gardens and into the wild where it is now considered an invasive herb in Ontario and nearly everywhere in Canada and the USA.  It not only threatens our provincial flower, the trillium, but many of the indigenous flowers on our at-risk list.  The way it wages war is rather interesting, you can read more about it here in one of my Wildflower posts.  Basically it deploys cyanide to dispatch it’s enemies.

garlic_mustard

Garlic mustard is not easy to get rid of.  They have a strong root system, and dense stands can produce more than 60,000 seeds per square metre!  Stands of garlic mustard can double in size every four years.  And we have them everywhere.  The Ohio Nature Blog has a video on how to identify garlic mustard and get rid of it: Garlic Mustard!

No matter how much we pull it, it is prolific here, so I guess we’ll look at the bright side: free food!

Garlic Mustard Collection and Recipes

In my opinion, the best way to get rid of garlic mustard is to eat it!  You cannot compost it (lest it spread it’s seeds), so instead of putting it in a garbage bag destined for the dump, I suggest you make a meal or two of this cruciferous vegetable!  Garlic mustard is extremely high in vitamin C, more so in fact than broccoli (261mg vs 93mg per 100 gm).  It is also high in minerals elements, caratenoids, and fibre. Of course, as with anything you forage for food,  you’ll want to make sure your garlic mustard hasn’t been exposed to chemical eradication methods first.

The stalks, leaves and seeds are all edible.  The stalks are palatable if you get them before they flower.  They are rather bitter when raw, but boiling them sweetens them a bit.  I tend to think they taste a bit like broccoli.

I managed to find one seed recipe:

Wild (Garlic) Mustard Seed Mayonnaise

From The Wild Vegetarian Cookbook

Some wild mustards have seeds you can gather in abundance and use as you would use commercial mustard seeds. They are great in this wild mayonnaise, and you will never miss the eggs-they are not really necessary. Use the result on sandwiches or as a salad dressing. • 1-2 cloves of garlic or to taste • 1/4 cup fresh parsley • 1 19-oz. package silken tofu, drained • 1/4 cup olive oil • 1/4 cup light (mellow) miso • 2 tbs. lecithin granules

Garlic Mustard Leaf Recipes

The leaves are sharp and peppery, similar to mustard greens. I don’t find they taste garlicky. They are not bitter until the flowers have gone to pod.  Karen over at Edible Wild Food recommends you:

  • Toss some into a batch of mashed potatoes
  • Put some in any salad you enjoy
  • Add to stews or soups
  • Finely chop some garlic mustard, grate a carrot and add both to your favourite gelatin
  • Add some finely chopped leaves to quinoa or another favourite grain
  • Fill a glass jar with leaves and add organic apple cider vinegar; seal with a non-metal lid and let sit for 4-6 weeks to make a vinaigrette (let sit in an area in which there is no direct sunlight) – See more (including a recipe for garlic mustard dip) at: Eating Garlic Mustard is a Win-Win

I’ve collected some recipes here to try:

  • Garlic mustard pesto recipe
  • Garlic Mustard and Spinach Raviolis with Garlic Mustard Pesto
    • Raviolis:
      • 4 shallots / 1 clove garlic
      • 2 cups spinach
      • 2 cups garlic mustard
      • 4 oz. ricotta cheese
      • 2 oz. Parmesan cheese
      • 2 oz. chopped sundried tomotoes
      • 6 sheets fresh pasta
      • Saute shallots and garlic in 2 Tbl butter until tender. Add spinach and garlic mustard greens & wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and cool slightly. Squeeze excess liquid from green and chop. Combine all ingredients and season to taste. Cut pasta sheets to desired size. Eggwash pasta and fill with garlic mustard and spinach mixture.
    • Pesto:
      • 1 cup garlic mustard
      •  1/2 cup basil
      •  3 cloves garlic
      •  2 oz. toasted pinenuts
      •  4 oz. olive oil
      •  juice of 1 lemon
      • In food processor combine all ingredients except olive oil. Puree and add olive oil with processor running. Toss cooked raviolis with pesto.
  • Aromatic Greens -by Linda Diane Feldt 

    • asafetida
    • cumin
    • coriander
    • cardamon
    • cloves
    • cinnamon
    • tumeric
    • 2 bunches greens or 2 packages frozen
    • While simmering, wash and sort through the two bunches of greens. Tear or chop into bite-sized pieces. Or use two packages of frozen greens. Add to skillet and cover. The cover may not fit right away, stir occasionally until they are reduced in size and the cover settles. Let saute covered, on low heat for at least 20 minutes or until very tender. Stir a few times, add more water if needed. Remove from heat and blend in about 3/4 cup yogurt. 
  • Garlic Mustard in Lemon Sauce
    • Serve this Asian-flavored side dish with brown rice.
      • 4-1/2 tbs. kuzu or tapioca flour
      • 3 tbs. vegetable glycerin, barley malt, rice syrup, or honey
      • 2 cups water
      • 1/2 tbs. liquid stevia
      • 6 tbs. lemon juice
      • 1/2 tbs. lemon extract
      • 3/4 tsp. salt
      • 3/4 tsp. cloves, ground
      • 3/4 tsp. allspice, ground
      • 3/4 tsp. star anise, ground
      • 4-1/2 tbs. peanut oil
      • 6 cups young garlic mustard leaves, chopped
      • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
      • 1. Mix together all ingredients except the garlic mustard leaves, garlic, and peanut oil in a saucepan with a whisk, bring 2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok or skillet and stir-fry the garlic mustard and garlic 1.5 minutes, stirring constantly 3. Pour the sauce over the garlic mustard mixture and cook over high heat 3 minutes or until the garlic mustard leaves are tender, stirring constantly.
  • Warm Potato Salad with Wilted Garlic Mustard Greens
    • 2 Red bliss potatoes (quartered)
    • ½ cup Caramelized onions
    • ¼ cup rendered bacon
    • ½ cup garlic mustard greens
    • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • Salt and pepper
    • Quarter potatoes, and toss in canola oil. Roast for about 30 minutes. In a sauté pan, heat bacon. Add onions and potatoes, and add salt and pepper to taste. Deglaze with vinegar, and toss in garlic mustard. Serve warm.
  • Venison Garlic Mustard Sausage
    • 1 lb pork butt
    • ¾ lb pork fatback
    • ½ lb bacon
    • 3 tbsp Marcela
    • 2 tbsp brandy
    • 4 tsp kosher salt
    • 2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 2 tsp juniper berries ground
    • 1 tsp garlic
    • 1 tsp shallots
    • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
    • 1 tsp fresh thyme
    • ½ cup fresh chopped garlic mustard greens
    • ½ cup dried cherries (re-hydrated in Marcela wine)
    • Cube and marinate meat, bacon, and fatback in wine, brandy, and spices. Let sit overnight. Grind all ingredients through ¼ inch plate. Add leftover juices, fresh chopped garlic mustard greens, and cherries to ground meat. Pipe into casings (or patties if you do not have casings) and let sit in the fridge overnight. Poach off in simmering water until 165o (if using patties, there is no need to poach). Grill, serve warm with potato salad, and enjoy!
  • Garlic Mustard Encrusted Lamb Chops – By  Steve Wecker, the Iron Bridge Wine Company
    • Garlic mustard greens
    • Fresh rosemary
    • Fresh chives
    • Fresh thyme
    • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
    • 2 lamb chops
    • 2 tbsp Pasteurized egg yolk
    • Pinch of salt and pepper
    • 1-cup fresh breadcrumbs
    • Directions: In a food processor, add garlic mustard, rosemary, chives, thyme, Dijon mustard, pasteurized egg yolk, salt and pepper, and breadcrumbs. Pulse machine until blended well. Mark 2 lamb chops on grill. Let set, then add mixture to lamb, and bake at a desired temperature.
  • Garlic Mustard Green Yogurt Froth – By  Steve Wecker, the Iron Bridge Wine Company
    • ½ cup yogurt
    • Chopped garlic mustard greens
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • Directions: Blend all ingredients, and enjoy.
  • Garlic Mustard Deviled Eggs
    • 8 eggs
    • 3 tbsp capons, drained
    • 1 tbsp chopped garlic mustard
    • Salt and pepper
    • Mustard
    • Cayenne pepper
    • Mayonnaise
    • Directions: Hard boil 8 eggs; cut in half and scoop yolks out of whites and into bowl. Add 3 tbsp capons, 1 tbsp chopped garlic mustard, salt, pepper, mustard, and cayenne pepper to taste. Add mayonnaise to make a creamy consistency. Stuff whites with the yolks and serve on a platter of garlic mustard greens.
  • Garlic Mustard Vegetable Soup
    • 2 medium potatoes
    • chopped 1/8-cup onions
    • chopped 4 cups chicken broth
    • 2 ½ teaspoons of garlic
    • 3 teaspoons chopped garlic mustard
    • 8 oz. Corn
    • 8 oz. Peas
    • Salt and pepper
    • Directions: Combine potatoes, onions, garlic, garlic mustard, and chicken broth. Simmer for 25 minutes on stove, or until potatoes are soft. Add corn and peas, and simmer again on the stove for about 10 minutes, or until peas are cooked. Add salt and pepper if needed
  • Corn and Black Bean Salad
    • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
    • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
    • ½ cup diagonally sliced green onions
    • ½ cup chopped red onion
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 medium tomato, chopped
    • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded,
    • finely chopped red onion wedge
    • Ingredients: (for dressing):
      • ¾ cup Italian salad dressing
      • ¾ tsp hot pepper sauce
      • ½ tsp chili powder
      • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
      • 2 tbsp chopped garlic mustard greens
    • Directions: In a large bowl, combine corn, beans, bell pepper, green onions, red onion, garlic, tomato, and jalapeno pepper. In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine dressing ingredients, close lid, and shake well. Pour dressing over salad, mix, and refrigerate overnight. Serve in an attractive bowl, and garnish with fresh garlic mustard greens.
  • Garlic Mustard Couscous Salad
    • ½ tbsp sweet basil leaves
    • ½ tbsp garlic and herb
    • ½ tbsp parsley flakes
    • ¼ tbsp garlic powder
    • ¼ tbsp thyme
    • ¼ cumin
    • 4 ½ tbsp minced garlic
    • 2 tbsp garlic juice
    • 2 cups garlic mustard
    • 1 package of roasted garlic and oil couscous
    • ¾ can tomatoes and juice
    • 1 cup parmesan cheese
    • Directions: Chop garlic mustard, cook couscous, and add all ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Garlic Mustard Chipped Beef
    • 3 cups milk
    • 1 loaf sliced bread
    • 9 tbsp flour
    • 3 cups light cream
    • 12 tbsp butter
    • ¾ lb chipped beef
    • handful garlic mustard
    • Directions: Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add flour, milk, and cream. Simmer for 20 minutes. Take off heat, stir in garlic mustard and chipped beef. Pour over slices of bread.
  • Cream Cheese Puff
    • ½ cup flour
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/3 cup garlic mustard, chopped
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1/3 cup green onion
    • 1 slice whole wheat bread crumbs
    • Directions: Combine all ingredients but the 4 eggs. Using an electric mixer, mix eggs for 5 minutes, or until thick and lemon colored. Place all ingredients in a 6 cup casserole dish, and bake until a knife comes out clean in the center.
  • Garlic Mustard Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
    • 2 T butter, melted
    • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
    • 1 T fresh garlic mustard, chopped
    • 7 pineapple rings
    • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
    • 1/8 tsp. slat
    • ¼ cup butter, softened
    • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 large egg
    • ½ cup milk
    • Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottom of a 9-inch round cake pound with melted butter. Sprinkle brown sugar and garlic mustard over butter. Arrange pineapple slices over mixture Combine flour, baking powder and salt and stir well. Cream ¼ cup butter with granulated sugar until well blended. Add egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture, alternating with milk. Beat well. Pour batter into pan over pineapple slices. Bake 32-35 minutes until done. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Invert onto cake plate.
  • Cheesy Garlic Mustard Quiche
    • 1 cup chopped, steamed garlic mustard leaves
    • 1 pie crust
    • 1 diced onion
    • ½ cup diced sharp cheddar cheese
    • ½ cup diced muenster cheese
    • ½ cup diced Monterey cheese
    • 5 large eggs
    • ½ cup
    • 2% milk
    • 1 clove minced garlic
    • 1 tsp dry parsley
    • ¼ tsp ancho chili
    • pepper salt and pepper (to taste)
    • Hungarian sweet paprika
    • Directions: Grease pie pan with extra virgin olive oil. Place pie crust in greased pie pan. Mix eggs, cheeses, milk, onion, chili powder, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper together in bowl. Pour mixture into the pie crust. Top with paprika. Cook for 1 hour at 350 or until firm.

Please let me know if you try any of these, and pictures in the comments are always appreciated!  Your foraging efforts in this case create a clearly positive environmental impact!

 

So you were probably wondering about the cyanide I mentioned earlier and wondering why I’m suggesting you eat this plant.  Many plants contain components that are poisonous to the human body.  Our bodies can handle small amounts of certain poisons with no deleterious effects whatsoever.  You might be shocked to learn how much formaldehyde you consume on a daily basis if you eat your 6-7 servings of fruits and vegetables required to maintain good health.  Our own bodies contain formaldehyde, and it is essential to certain cellular functions that we do!  It’s only when we are exposed to large amounts that we begin to see the harmful effects.  So, we don’t worry about eating that pear or banana or whatever.  Frankly, consuming too much water can also kill you, while you know normal amounts are absolutely essential to human life.

So back to cyanide and the garlic mustard.  Garlic mustard contains cyanide at about 100 ppm, which translates to 100mg/kg.  Depending on your size, that means you would need to consume more than 2lbs worth of garlic mustard in order to make you sick.  So please do not eat 2lbs of garlic mustard in a short period of time!  I’d imagine your stomach will send plenty of warning signs before you reach this threshold!!

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