Wild garlic pesto is a classic forager’s favourite. At the time of writing (early May) the leaves are starting to look a bit tired as the plant puts it’s energy into the those beautiful, star shaped flowers. Mustard leaves however are plentiful through May and June and make great pestos with a firey kick. Look for black mustard (pictured below) leaves in allotments and coastal locations. You can add wild or shop bought fermented mustard seeds to your pestos – Jack by the hedge (a type of super common wild mustard) seeds are the easiest to harvest. I just wait until June when the seeds have dried and turned black in their elongated pods. The simplest way to harvest is to place a bag over the top of the plant and shake the plant to release seeds into your bag.
Seed Fermenting Method:
- Make a brine by adding sea salt to mineral water. Go with approximately 5% salt total volume.
- Add brine to mustard seeds in a jar
- Taste after a few days by which time fermentation should have started to take place
Wild Mustard and Dill Pesto:
- Wild garlic or Black mustard leaves
Sea Radish leaves and Jack by the Hedge leaves also work well. Another common wild mustard with a real nasal kick is Lesser swine cress (allotments and paths)