Garlic Mustard is an edible wild plant food. Here is video on how to cook garlic mustard, we made a great pesto recipe. You can forage for the leaves, but you can also eat the flowers and the seeds.
Other names for Garlic Mustard are Jack-by-the-hedge, Poor Man's Mustard, Garlic Root, Hedge Garlic, Jack-in-the-bush, Penny Hedge, Sauce-alone.
This wild mustard is a non-native invasive plant, its just plain bad to have it growing in North America. It takes over the growing areas of trilliums, bloodroot, and other slow growing woodland and hedgerow plants, taking up sunlight, nutrients, water. Deer do not eat Garlic Mustard, btw. When you harvest it, be sure to remove the entire plant, including the roots. I bring along a garden trowel or forked digging tool to remove the whole plant and roots.
The plant is a biennial, it grows over 2 years, the first year the plant is a low to the ground rosette, the second year the plant grows up and flowers. The leaves are spade shaped with ridges and about 2″ across. After the plant flowers, the seed heads are upright, they look like small string bean pods, about 2″ high and green. You want to remove the plants before they go to seed, as spreading the seed is a bad thing.
So until we eradicate this mustard green from North America, lets enjoy as what I call ‘free food'. In other words, yet another plant we call a weed yet is actually a nutritious plant that should land on our table. According to Wikipedia, mustard plants in general are a rich source of vitamins A, C, & K. I didn't really think about the vitamin value, I just think its always good to have more greens in your diet. Maybe we can add this to some sort of power smoothie? What do you think? Let me know below.