Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is another super-invasive plant in our area along the east coast. The whole plant is edible, the leaves, flower stalks, flowers, roots, and seeds that are produced in massive quantities. Eating this invader can be done for a good portion of the year, and the blanched leaves store well in the freezer. The flavor overall is garlicky, with a bit of a mustard bite that some people might find bitter. We like the second year's triangular leaves better than the oval, scalloped leaves of the first year's basal rosette, they tend to be more tender and less harsh. We like to pair the pungency of this wild edible with earthy flavors like mushrooms, plus rich textures like cheese in recipes, while still adding a good quantity of garlic mustard. This recipe is mostly about making a filling. You can fill wontons or pasta dough for ravioli, or even use it to stuff some puff pastry triangles or bread. We used some wild hen-of-the-woods maitake mushrooms, because that is what we had in the freezer, but grocery store mushrooms will work fine.
Garlic Mustard and Cheese Ravioli Filling makes about 2 cups
1 T olive oil
1 c. chopped ramps or onions
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 c. chopped maitake mushrooms, or chopped shiitake mushrooms
2 1/2 c. garlic mustard leaves, roughly chopped
4 T farmer's cheese, or drained ricotta
1 T sour cream
1 tsp salt
1. Sautee chopped ramps or onion in the olive oil over medium heat until transluscent, 4 minutes. Add garlic and chopped mushrooms, cook until the mushrooms release their juices and it evaporates, about 5 more minutes.
2. Toss in 2 cups of the garlic mustard leaves and cover the pan, cook 2 more minutes to wilt the leaves. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
3. Put the cooked onion, mushroom and garlic mustard mixture into a food processor, and pulse a few times to mix. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of raw garlic mustard leaves, the farmer's cheese, sour cream and salt, and continue to pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Taste and adjust salt.
4. Use the filling to fill ravioli, wonton wrappers, or as a spread.
|First-year basal rosette|
|Second year leaves and flower stalks|