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.
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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......."