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Wild Garlic Mustard Green Chimichurri

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When it comes to springtime foraged vegetables, ramps (also known as wild leeks), have gotten the bulk of the chef and food world attention.

I like ramps as much as the next tedious food geek droning on about the pungent wonders of spring’s first local seasonal edible green thing, but there’s some concern that the increased demand for ramps in recent years have led to overharvesting in some areas.

So far the midwest continues to have ample ramp patches. Still, I think it’s wise to balance our enthusiasm for them with an eye toward sustainability.

Which brings me to a different early wild spring green with a bold flavor, wild garlic mustard.

What to do with Wild Garlic Mustard Greens? Make Garlic Mustard Chimichurri. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious www.blossomtostem.net

Wild garlic mustard is an invasive plant, so abundantly proliferative that it grows almost everywhere in the northern hemisphere and is a weedy nuisance for many farmers. It’s sort of the Asian carp of the plant world.

But it’s also delicious. It has a garlicky fragrance with a kicky heat along the lines of horseradish. They’re members of the brassica family (like broccoli and kale and cultivated mustard greens) and like their brethren are nutritional powerhouses.

It seems that if we’re going to be pulling these weeds anyway, we might as well bring them into the kitchen and take advantage of their flavor potential.

What to do with Wild Garlic Mustard Greens? Make Garlic Mustard Chimichurri. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious www.blossomtostem.net

This wild garlic mustard green chimichurri comes together in about a minute. It comes from Chicago chef Paul Virant’s excellent cookbook, The Preservation Kitchen.

It’s a vibrant, punchy sauce with a healthy splash of acidity from the red wine vinegar and lemon juice. It gets a smoky depth from the smoked paprika and rounded out with a generous amount of olive oil.

It’s great paired with pork, chicken or steak or a fish like salmon that can stand up to bold flavors. I could also see it playing well with eggs and black beans and avocados (maybe along with quinoa cakes) for a vegetarian meal.

Whatever you pair it with, it’s a great way to eat your weeds.

What to do with Wild Garlic Mustard Greens? Make Garlic Mustard Chimichurri. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious www.blossomtostem.net
Yield: 1 cup

Wild Garlic Mustard Green Chimichurri

What to do with Wild Garlic Mustard Greens? Make Garlic Mustard Chimichurri. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious www.blossomtostem.net

This chimichurri is a snap to make, and it’s a great way to make use of a weed that’s otherwise a nuisance. It comes together in seconds in the food processor. The color is brightest within a few hours of making it, but it keeps well in the refrigerator for about a week. It goes well with just about any meat you could think of and would also be lovely with salmon or any fish that can handle potent condiments. It’s best paired with something with a bit of fat and richness–it would be a bit overpowering on most vegetables but would work with eggs or avocados. It has a kick a bit like horseradish but milder. If you can’t find wild garlic mustard, you can make this with a combination of mustard greens and flat leaf parsley instead. You can also substitute cloves of garlic for the spring garlic if you have trouble finding it.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups wild garlic mustard green tops and leaves, remove the woody ends (but keep the flowers if they're present)
  • 2 sprigs spring garlic, roughly chopped
  • Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, works well with either sweet or hot
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Add everything except the olive oil to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil and process until just combined.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator if not using within a couple of hours.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 109mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g
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david barber

Wednesday 27th of May 2020

This recipe says nothing about using the leaves. The tips are chewy stems

Mary Kasprzak

Thursday 28th of May 2020

The top of the plant includes the leaves. I'll revise to clarify.

Leanne

Thursday 7th of May 2020

Looks amazing- off to forage some now. Did you use the leaves as well as the stem and flowers in the recipe? Thanks for the inspiration :)

Mary Kasprzak

Thursday 7th of May 2020

Yes! The leaves are the best part!

Brenda Nousiainen

Thursday 16th of April 2020

The pictures that you show do not look like garlic mustard that I have seen.

Mary Kasprzak

Thursday 16th of April 2020

I'm sorry to say that the photos I have only show the tops of the stems after hanging around in the refrigerator for a few days, which could be deceiving and doesn't look much like the plant as it appears in the wild. I should have photographed the leaves, but this post is from five years ago and I don't currently have access to garlic mustard to reshoot the photographs.

The recipe still works, though!

Lorraine M Clarkson

Wednesday 8th of April 2020

Me mustard garlic doesn’t look like this. Mine has big serated, heart shaped leaves.

Mary Kasprzak

Thursday 16th of April 2020

This was from a leggy plant that had flowered and maybe even started to go to seed. The leaves, which I didn't photograph well, are like what you describe.