Foraging was on our minds this weekend, seeing some edible wild plants in our yard, after listening to this NPR story on eating and cooking wild foods like edible Garlic Mustard and Nettles.
Yes, you can eat nettles, despite the fact that the stems of the nettle plant have tiny barbs that sting if you grab Nettles without gloves. The secret is blanching before eating the nettles.
Garlic Mustard is an edible wild green, its leaves have hint of Garlic taste, though the mustard leaf taste is more prominent. Garlic Mustard is a non-native invasive plant that crowds out woodland native flowers like trilliums, bloodroot, etc. When harvesting Garlic Mustard, be sure to remove the entire root base, so it doesn’t grow back.
Our Wild Edible Plant Pesto Recipe made with Stinging Nettles and Garlic Mustard is inspired by an NPR interview of Leah Lizarondo whose food blog is Brazen Kitchen. A big thank you to Larkin Page-Jacobs of NPR and Leah.
Please tell us about your foraging recipes and tips below the recipe, thanks.
Foraging Videos & Edible Plant Identification:
Here are other plant identification foraging videos we have done:
Wild Nettles & Garlic Mustard Pesto Recipe
A simple pesto recipe made from foraged edible plants, Garlic Mustard, Stinging Nettles and Dandelion
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
• 1 cup Blanched Nettles
• 3 cups Garlic Mustard Leaves
• 1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
• 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1 cup Dandelion Leaves ( optional )
• 1/2 lemon
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest
• 1 cup toasted walnuts
• 2 medium cloves garlic
1. Wash all greens in a salad spinner – wear gloves when handling stinging nettles.
2. Take 2 large handfuls of nettles – wear gloves! and blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain in a colander.
3. Grate 1 cup of cheese using the large holes on a box grater, don\\\\\\\’t buy the pre-grated cheese, it tastes awful.
4. Toast the walnuts in a fry pan on the stove, keep an eye on them, the burn easily.
5. Place the greens, walnuts, cheese, garlic in a food processor, pour olive oil over the ingredients in the food processor.
6. Add lemon zest and the juice from half a lemon.
7. Turn on the food processor and watch the fun, you want the greens to become a roughly chopped paste, but not turn to mush.
8. Serve this over pasta ( whole wheat pasta goes well with these flavors ) or in white bean soup, or on bread, its great.