Hamptons Epicure: Garlic Mustard – Invasive or Tasty? Yes!

Garlic mustard is everywhere
Garlic mustard is everywhere, Photos: Stacy Dermont (left), iStock.com (right)

Garlic mustard, that invasive, indestructible weed is coming up around every lawn in the Hamptons right now. So why not enjoy a big bunch of it with dinner? My bitter greens were so popular at Easter and Passover gatherings this year, I had to promise to print this recipe for them. This stuff is not only invasive, it’s also delicious (if, like me, you’re into bitter) and nutritious—high in vitamins A, C, E and some B vitamins. European settlers brought it to North America to eat as a vegetable.

Bitter Greens
Yield: Serves 6

2 lbs. mustard garlic, washed and drained
1/4 cup olive oil or bacon fat
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Special equipment: large fry pan, wide spatula

In a large fry pan, heat fat over medium heat.Add garlic and ginger and fry until they start to color, about 3 minutes, shaking pan, or stirring, a few times.

Add half of the damp greens to pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover pan and turn burner down to medium-low. Steam undisturbed for 5 minutes.

Uncover pan; turn greens over with a wide spatula. Add other half of damp greens to pan. Cover and steam undisturbed for 5 minutes.

Uncover pan, turn greens over, re-cover and allow to steam to desired doneness—5 to 12 minutes.

Pour off and discard the pan juices. Stir in vinegar. Use tongs to move greens to serving platter.

Top greens with buttered breadcrumbs, if desired, and enjoy.

Buttered Breadcrumb Topping

3/4 cup bread crumbs or cornbread crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients.

Spread on parchment paper, on a cookie sheet. Keep in oven set to “Warm” until you’re ready to top the greens.

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