FORAGED GARLIC MUSTARD PESTO

After the week's alternating thunderstorms and sunny heat, it seems everything is officially in bloom up here in our sweet corner of earth.  This morning over coffee we looked around our bountiful wild yard and realized we had yet to identify the flowers and "weeds" that have visited us this season (read: avoiding mowing the lawn).  We started picking stems and used good ole google to identify the plants and then looked into how we can benefit from them.  We were delighted to find out that MOST everything we foraged from our little slice of yard is EDIBLE!  We found: Purple Dead Nettle, Chickweed, Viola Palmata, Creeping Charlie, Dandelions, and Sticky Willy.  We are most enchanted by the Garlic Mustard and have now used it as an ingredient in a few salads.  Tonight I made this amazing, spicy, green pesto from the leaves and put it over pasta, YO-MAZING!  Recipe below <3 

FORAGED GARLIC MUSTARD PESTO

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Collect Garlic Mustard by cutting anywhere between the top flower and just above the root.  Test the leaves for taste because as the plant grows and matures, the leaves become more bitter.  The tops are still sweet and spicy so they are useable no matter what.  I also judge the flavor by how tender the stem is, cutting just below that point.  Collect enough for your pesto (I try for 10-15 plants).  

INGREDIENTS:

Leaves and tops of 10-15 stems of Garlic Mustard (set aside some of the flowers to use as a garnish for later)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Chunks of locatelli to taste (I use about 1.5 tablespoons)

A small handful of walnuts (5-10)

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of cracked pepper

1/2 teaspoon basil spice

Combine all into your food processor (mine is a hangover from my twenties so I need to cut everything down before processing - might be a good idea to avoid chunks!) Pulse for 3-5 minutes until you get a creamy paste.  Spead over noodles, use on a pizza, or eat over bread for the MOST DELICIOUS green treat!

RECIPESLauren Schad