May 8, 2009

garlic mustard pesto

10:48 PM hi eric
10:49 PM got garlic mustard?? make pesto. i did; it was delicious!

I got this late-night chat from my mom. The next day, I looked up what garlic mustard was, and happened to see it growing behind a bench by the library. So, what did I do? Uprooted it and brought it home to make pesto! Julie is very familiar with this invasive species from her prairie restoration days and I had no clue about it. But who knew it made a great pesto? My mom, that's who.

Yields: 1 1/2 c. pesto

1 1/2 c. garlic mustard
6 cloves garlic
1 c. olive oil
1 t. salt

The 1 1/2 cups were from a single, large, garlic mustard plant. Just use the leaves, not the stems or flowers. Blend everything together in a food processor. With lots of olive oil, this makes a thin pesto. You can add pine nuts or walnuts if you like for a more traditional, creamier, pesto, but this was delicious as is. The taste of garlic mustard isn't very strong, so adding regular garlic is a good idea.

Here's an article (with photos) about how bad garlic mustard is as an invasive species and here's how you can make it good:

Garlic mustard pesto grilled cheese! We used "Young Tom" cheese (a little like munster) from Windsor Dairy and home-baked bread, with a bit of local wheat flour fresh from Farmer John's mill. I made a vegan version with hummus and it was excellent also.

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