Edible City is where I muse about urban gardening and share tips from my new book City Farmer

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Eat Your Weeds

This is a great time of year to forage for young, edible greens in the city. My favourite is garlic mustard. It's an invasive non-native plant that wreaks havoc in woodlands (outcompeting the native understory plants), so you can feel virtuous about harvesting it. A few nights ago, I went to a local park that's infested with garlic mustard and cut a huge swath of young leaves (the later in the season, the more bitter the leaves). I made a batch of garlic mustard pesto and spread it on toasted baguette. Delicious--it tasted like spring.

You can use any regular pesto recipe and just substitute garlic mustard for the basil, but here's my recipe:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 clove garlic
4 cups garlic mustard leaves
pinch of salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.


  1. Great use of weeds! Do you know if garlic mustard leaves are common in Vancouver? Do you have a picture of them?

  2. Thanks for your comment. Garlic mustard is in B.C., but I don't think it's common (certainly not as common as in southern Ontario, where it is invasive). In B.C. (according to the website www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/garlicmustard.htm), it's predominantly found in rich, moist forests and wooded streambanks.