Saturday, May 10, 2014
Wild foods are most often in their prime for only a short window of time and springtime greens of the second-year Alliaria petiolata, commonly called garlic mustard, are no exception. The ones on my little acre are just preparing to bloom, so harvest I must. Rain or no rain, in the only hours available to me. I pluck this "wild invasive" by the roots to manage its vivacious spreading and do my best to waste nothing.
The greens were rinsed and gently sauteed in olive oil with some fresh cracked black pepper, fresh grated nutmeg, fresh copped egyptian onion tops, and then covered to simmer-n-steam in its own juices until tender. Mere minutes. I spooned a bit liquid love off the top of the still-macerating garlic vinegar to add just before serving (for breakfast, no less). And this dish is equally tasty served cold, so a generous harvest is always worthwhile ~ in more ways than one.
I've really grown to appreciate this plant over the years.
As for the second year roots, I rinsed them well, brought them into the kitchen, dried them a bit, added them to my blender with some living apple cider vinegar, chopped it all together and poured it into a canning jar to (like the garlic vinegar) macerate for 6-8 weeks before straining and bottling. I'll be harvesting roots again in the autumn, of the first year growth, to make more delicious, nutritious vinegar and who knows what else?
And if you're wondering, the roots of this plant taste like a subtle horseradish. Yeah. Very tasty!
That's what I made today.