Wild Edible of the Week - Week 32 - "Jack-by-the-hedge"

Botanical Name : Alliaria petiolata

Common names : Jack-by-the-hedge, Garlic Mustard, Garlic Root, Hedge Garlic, Sauce Alone, Jack-in-the-bush, Penny Hedge, Poor Man's Mustard

Physical appearance : Growing up to 70cm in height, with vibrant green and slightly toothed, triangular, leaves, producing small, white flowers between April and June. When crushed, its leaves produce a light garlic like smell.

Best places to find : In hedge rows, waysides and in open woodlands.

Edible parts : The leaves, flowers and roots are edible. The leaves and flowers have a mild garlic/mustard flavour, whilst the roots have a more robust horseradish flavour.

Time of year : September to November.

Recipe  : The leaves can be washed and chopped finely to be added to salads. However, it is most commonly used a s a flavouring for fish and meat. Particularly used in conjunction with salted fish and Herring, as well as with lamb. Can be used to make pesto sauce.

Interesting factoid : Jack-by-the-hedge has been used in cooking for over 6000 years! In medicine, it has also been used a diuretic and disinfectant. Also a good source of vitamins A and C.

NB! - Please be sure you know what you are picking, many plants look similar to each other and may be poisonous. If you are unsure, please seek professional instruction!

The Bushgear Team

Photos courtesy of;

Sannse 800×860×8 (155609 bytes) Garlic Mustard {{GFDL}}

By O. Pichard - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6156271