Intro: Eat Your Weeds: Garlic Mustard Risotto
Garlic Mustard is a tricky weed. It grows all over the place, but almost nothing eats it. Part of the reason that nothing eats it is the intense raw garlic taste that you get when you chew on a leaf or two. It is a common wild edible and while there are numerous recipes out there for Garlic Mustard Pesto, but I wanted to try something a bit different, so I decided to make a Risotto with it.
So first things first, lets get together the ingredients.
Step 1: Ingredients
1 cup garlic mustard greens.
Garlic mustard is easy to spot once you know what it is and you may see it in your yard, hedges, or along sidwalks and bike trails. Some leaves have a reddish color to them, the flower buds are a big like small brocolli, and the flowers are white with four petals in a cross shape. When you pull off a leaf it should smell intensely of garlic.
In addition you will need
1 cup uncooked rice
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup parmesean cheese (not the sawdust stuff!) plus extra for grating
Step 2: Melt Your Butter and Fry the Dry Rice
In a pot, melt your butter and add the rice while stirring constantly. Use medium heat. You want the rice to become translucent and to start to brown. You do not want to hear popping or smell the aroma of burnt popcorn. You are basically hardening the outside of the rice so that your risotto has texture and a little bit of toasted flavor to it.
Step 3: Add the Garlic Mustard
Now add you collected mustard greens. Don't worry about chopping them too finely, they will shrink considerably as they are cooked. You want to fry them briefly with the rice and then add about a cup of chicken stock and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Step 4: Cook Your Rice Thouroughly
As the chicken stock is absorbed add a little more. You want to make sure your rice doesn't burn so stir frequently. When the rice is done how you like it, add about 1/4 cup parmesean cheese and stir. You want to be sure that every grain is coated in the cheese. You will notice that the garlic mustard has broken apart and dyed the whole dish with green specks. Don't worry it still tastes delicious.
Step 5: Enjoy
Serve with a little grated parmesean cheese on top. This is very filling and makes a great side dish or even vegetarian meal by itself. Just a warning though, you have to be a garlic lover as the resulting dish will be very garlicky. I think that dishes such as this one may help certain neighborhoods get their garlic mustard under control.