Garlic Mustard. Testing 1, 2…

I’ve spent the last week or so experimenting with garlic mustard.  I got some huge harvests from friends, so there’s been a lot to play with.  While I’m still working on my premier garlic mustard recipe, I wanted to share what I’ve learned so far.

Know Your Garlic Mustard

I’ve been putting garlic mustard into everything this week:  Ham sandwiches, salads, chicken stir-fry.  It seems to go everywhere that you want a bit of a spicy fresh kick.  I’ve eaten a few stalks plain to get an idea of what the different parts taste like.

Description of Garlic Mustard's Edible Parts
Photo by J. Deines

Storage and Preserving

Since the bumper harvests last week, I’ve also been experimenting with how to keep my garlic mustard flavorful for future use.

Refrigerate

I plucked off all the leaves, siliqua, and flowers from the stems and rinsed gently in cool water, dried in a salad spinner and lightly packed them in Tupperware. They’ve stayed well in the fridge like this for about a week already, to no ill effect on texture or flavor.  Freezing seems to turn garlic mustard into mush, and I don’t recommend it.

Drying

Garlic mustard hung out to dry. Photo by J. Deines

Drying herbs is a very old practice and there are many, many websites describing various methods to accomplish drying while maintaining flavor and color.  I went with the easiest method, simply bundling the stocks with dental floss and hanging them upside down in my kitchen.

After a few days, some of the leaves have turned yellow.  Yellowing occurs due to enzymatic activity, so next time it’ll be worth blanching before drying, using a dehydrator, or both.  I would avoid drying in the oven, because heat may drive off essential oils that contribute to flavor.

2 thoughts on “Garlic Mustard. Testing 1, 2…

  • April 3, 2014 at 4:34 pm
    Permalink

    Try the roots ground and mixed with vinegar. When I tried them straight up I thought they were bland as well, but vinegar brings out their pungent kick–and then they are quite similar to horseradish

    Reply
    • April 4, 2014 at 9:41 am
      Permalink

      Thanks for the tip- we’ll have to give it a try!

      Reply

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