Wednesday, April 25, 2007
This is a quick post for Susan in Italy, who left a comment about this lovely weed. It's called Jack-by-the-hedge, or garlic mustard, and its latin name is alliaria petiolata. It springs into life along the hedgerow at this time of year, with fresh green leaves and tiny brilliant white flowers. The leaves taste mildly of garlic and are absolutely terrific in salads because they are a decent size and love a good dressing. The leaves are very delicate and you would think they would wilt quickly, but they last well if you put the stems in water. They make a good sauce for lamb, and there is a 17th Century tradition of eating them with fish. In my view they are a great deal nicer than ramsons, the wild garlic with the quite tough leaves that appears a couple of weeks before them. You might at first confuse Jack-by-the-hedge with young nettles, but they are a much fresher green than nettles and the flowers are quite different. In the picture above there are nettles on either side of Jack - a darker green and, oh, you know what nettles look like!
Posted by June at 2:20 PM