Do You Know How To Cook With Garlic Mustard?

The biennial blooming plant known as garlic mustard, or Alliaria petiolata, belongs to the mustard family (Brassicaceae). It is indigenous to northern Scandinavia, western and central Asia, north-western Africa, Morocco, Iberia, and the British Isles, as well as western China's Xinjiang and northern Pakistan. One of the oldest spices used in Europe is garlic mustard. Its use is demonstrated by phytoliths found in pottery from the Erteblle and Funnelneck-Beaker cultures in north-eastern Germany and Denmark, which date to 4100-3750 BCE.

It was suggested as a flavour for salt fish in 17th-century Britain. Additionally, it can be transformed into a sauce to be used with salad or roast lamb. The herb was introduced to the New World by early European immigrants for use as a garlic-like flavour. It has long been used medicinally, including as a diuretic. The herb was additionally planted to prevent erosion. Today, chopped leaves are used to enhance salad dressings and sauces like pesto; occasionally, flowers and fruit are also used. The leaves have a garlic and mustard flavour that is greatest when they are young. In France, the seeds are occasionally used to season meals. Historically, garlic mustard was employed medically as a wound healer, a disinfectant, or a diuretic. 

One thing to keep in mind is that garlic mustard plants, especially the young leaves, can contain significant quantities of cyanide. For this reason, it could be a good idea to practise the "all things in moderation" maxim and refrain from gorging yourself on copious amounts of tender spring leaves. Don't worry though, as this mainstay of spring foragers can be eaten without danger year after year. Much of the cyanide will be released into the air when making pesto by crushing it in a blender, and cooking will aid in its decomposition. 

The most flavorful leaves will be those that are still young. Raw leaves from older plants and those that have bloomed are typically more bitter and less flavorful. Larger leaves close to the plant's base will probably taste better than smaller leaves at the plant's top if it has flowered. 

Culinary Use 

You should experiment with using garlic mustard in different ways to make the most of it as it is only plentiful and delectable for a brief period of time. 

You can use cooked or uncooked garlic mustard. If the plants you harvest are bitter, cooking could help to lessen their harshness. 

Try blanching stems in boiling water for a few seconds before letting them soak in cool water for a few hours; this should also help to mellow the flavor, if you're still not a fan. To further mellow it, switch the water and soak for longer. Keep in mind that stems should be softer than leaves. 

Use fresh garlic mustard to add a juicy, garlicky explosion of flavour to any dish by chopping it up first. To grain or green salads, add a bit. In this dish for wild rice salad, garlic mustard works wonderfully. 

Cook garlic mustard either alone or in conjunction with other veggies. Enjoy with a little salt and olive oil after steaming or sautéing the stems, leaves, and petals. 

The stems are a favourite part for many foragers. They can be cooked separately or in combination with other plant components. 

When a garlicky bite is desired, add chopped garlic mustard weed to omelettes or frittatas. 

Pasta with sautéed stems and leaves. They'd go especially well with asparagus in a version of this delectable fettucine with spring garlic. 

Added chopped stems, leaves, and flowers to vegetable soups are excellent. In order to prevent imparting a bitter flavor, add towards the end of cooking.