Wednesday, April 28, 2010

If You Can't Beat It, Eat It!

I've had an ongoing war with garlic mustard for years. It's a nasty horribly invasive species and is a major threat to our native plants. One garlic mustard flower produces thousands of seeds that remain viable in the soil for up to 5 years. The stuff starts rapidly multiplying and crowds out everything else, stealing light, moisture, and nutrients from wildflowers.

That's why I was thrilled to find out about the Garlic Mustard Challenge this coming Sunday in Patapsco Valley State Park - lots of events - music, food, drink, highlighted by a 'pulling' contest.

Did you know you can eat it? I didn't until last week. Garlic mustard was brought to our country in the late 1800s as a culinary herb. You can eat every part of it - root, stem, flower, seeds. You can put it in salads or cook it the same as you would mustard greens.

I'm spreading the word. If enough of us start eating garlic mustard, maybe a trend will develop, and we can eradicate it without ever using one single chemical!

To start you off, here's a recipe for pesto (note: once it flowers, it gets bitter, so pick it early when it looks like the photo on the right):

1 1/2 cups garlic mustard leaves
1 1/2 cups spinach
2 garlic gloves
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor. Voila!
Serve it with your favorite pasta.
So be honest, how many of you think I've gone off the deep end? 

"They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haa,To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be
happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats......."