Garlic Mustard Pesto-Eat Your Weeds!

Photo From: Garlic Mustard Pesto-Eat Your Weeds!

photo credit: Bobbi Misiti


  • 2 to 3 cups garlic mustard (top) leaves and flowers (from your yard)
  • 1/2 cup or so of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of pecorino cheese
  • Juice of a 1/2 lemon (or so)
  • 1 to 3 cloves of garlic
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Heaps of love


Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend.

If the garlic mustard is too bitter for you, boil it one to two times before adding to the pesto.

Eat your weeds … this grows prolific in my back yard in PA!  Second year leaves and flower stalks picture taken in my back yard in PA. 

While garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is a completely edible weed, there are some who have differing opinions on its level of tastiness. We like to eat it in all stages of its growth, but prefer the second year’s growth of triangular leaves growing along the flower stalk to the first year’s kidney-shaped leaves growing from the basal rosette. We also like to eat the more tender tops of the flower stalk. The root has a nice horseradish-like flavor to be grated into dishes for a hot bite. The small, white flowers also have the hotness of the root, and make a good addition to a raw salad. The black, comma-shaped seeds can be ground to make a hot mustard or a tasty dressing.

Some people may be turned off by the touch of bitterness found in the leaves, but we find it adds a depth to food to have the bitter taste along with savory tastes. Boiling the leaves two times in clean water would be an option to removing the bitterness. Garlic mustard might not be for everyone, but it is nutritious, highly invasive and easily gathered in quantity.  Add it to any recipe calling for greens for a little added flavor.

Early European settlers brought the herb to use as a garlic type flavoring, and as a good source of vitamins A and C. The herbs medicinal purposes include use as a disinfectant, a diuretic,[5] and sometimes being used to treat gangrene and ulcers. The herb was also planted as a form of erosion control.[6]

You can get organic extra virgin olive oil here.

High quality salts and nuts can be found here. has very nice organic nuts but they also sell a lot of junk food I do not support.  Therefore the only food I buy from them are their organic nuts and seeds.

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