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6 edible invasive species recipes

By: Enrique Gili on March 8, 2011, 7:47 a.m.

Photo: Maxal Tamor/Shutterstock

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Garlic Mustard Pesto

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) has invaded the woodlands of the Midwest and Upper Peninsula
of Michigan. To stem the rapid spread, the Kalamazoo Nature Center published “From Pest to Pesto" (PDF) to promote greater awareness. This recipe was adapted from the book.
Garlic Mustard Pesto


  • 3 cups garlic mustard greens, chopped and packed. Pick greens from an unsprayed area and thoroughly wash them.
  • 6 ounces pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon garlic mustard root, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • 6 ounces virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups cooked penne pasta
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
Time estimates

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes


  1. Toss mustard greens, pine nuts, root and chives into food processor. Add olive oil slowly while blending.
  2. Serve with cooked penne pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Serves 6 to 8