Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is one of the earliest spring edibles that starts bolting up as soon as the snow melts. Now considered invasive in many parts of North America, this plant was actually brought over intentionally by early pioneers who knew of its ability to spread quickly and provide an early source of nutrition.
While garlic mustard is fairly easy to identify (see my YouTube video for tips), as always make absolutely sure that you know what you are picking with 100% certainty. Once you’ve harvested your garlic mustard, give it a good rinse and let it dry while you take out your ingredients for garlic mustard pesto.
- 3-4 cups (or handfuls) young garlic mustard leaves and flowers
- 3/4 cup walnuts, soaked for at least 3 hours and strained
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place all your ingredients in a food processor and blend! Yup, it is that easy.
- You can add more of one ingredient if you think it needs it. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
- Garlic mustard becomes more bitter as it ages, so you might want to add sweetness by adding more garlic and/or honey.
- The colour of the pesto will become less vibrant and darker as it gets older. Don’t worry, it still tastes great
Garlic mustard is rich in sulfur, an important mineral for supporting the liver’s natural detoxification process as well as healthy hair, nails, skin, and joints. It also contains some iron and is mildly diuretic. The use of mustards in general are said to “lift the spirits” and “expel heaviness” which after a long winter is exactly what our bodies need!
For more information on garlic mustard and how to make garlic mustard pesto check out our video!