Garlic Mustard Pesto

8 June 2017 · 0 comments

in Gardening, Nature Play & Learning

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A few weeks ago, the hedgerows and many other habitats were filled with garlic mustard flowering. Although it smells strongly of garlic, it is a member of the cabbage family. Its botanical name is Alliaria petiolata.

The leaves can be picked, washed and used in salads or added to sauces – they get increasingly bitter as they mature so use young fresh leaves for this purpose that have been collected away from roadsides. All parts of the plant are edible – the roots have an exceptionally strong taste, a bit like horse radish.

When visiting Cold Spring School in New Haven, it was lovely to see the Grade 2 and 3 children create garlic pesto from this wildflower. In North America, the species has become invasive. The children were studying invasive plants as part of a local studies project. Their teacher had also used the opportunity to introduce volume and capacity in a practical way beforehand so that the children were able to read and follow the recipe independently.

This is how they made the pesto:

Another lovely opportunity to use a foraged and gathered plant for a positive educational purpose. Eat with pasta!

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