Tasty noxious weed

The Mount Albert Horticultural Society has named garlic mustard its weed of the year — and is encouraging all local residents to rid their properties of this invasive species (brought over to Canada by early European settlers). It has bright green, scalloped-edged leaves and clusters of tiny white flowers. It’s blooming now. It spreads by seed and can easily choke out native spring flowers such as spring beauty, wild ginger, bloodroot, Dutchman’s breeches, hepatica, toothwort and trillium and upset the balance of local ecosystems.

Garlic mustard plant.

Saturday, David cleared a patch from the no-man’s land behind our property — but not before we’d harvested a handful of leaves. Garlic mustard is so named for its taste. A chiffonade of the subtly garlicky mustardy leaves was a perfect final touch for a salad of spring greens dressed with a light Dijon vinaigrette.

Chiffonade of garlic mustard leaves for a spring salad.