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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Did You Know? Garlic Mustard—An Invader Species That’s Good to Eat!

This native pant of Europe has few natural enemies and is covering New Jersey’s forest floors (and neighbor states) at an alarming rate. 

The danger extends beyond rapid growth with lots of seeds—garlic mustard also uses chemical warfare. Its toxicity is deadly to the larva of native butterflies; and some of the chemicals released can inhibit growth of other plants and reduce the survival of trees seedlings.

On the plus side, the pungent, garlicky flavor of its broad leaves are ideal for stir-fries, sautés and salads, so eating it is an enjoyable act of conservation.

Garlic Mustard Saute 

Boil the garlic mustard leaves for about 7-10 minutes to reduce bitterness, till the water is bright green. Drain well. Then saute the greens with butter or olive oil and garlic. Cover pan on low heat for 5 minutes. Remove cover and add a dash of balsamic vinegar.

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