Fancy some foraging and cooking right now? How about making delicious sweetcorn and wild garlic mustard fritters?! There is so much wild garlic mustard growing right now, especially in shady woodlands and along hedgerows. As you can see below, it grows along the hedgerow of the canal towpath alongside two other delicious edibles, nettles and cleavers aka sticky weed. Focusing on garlic mustard though, it is easy to identify and totally edible! Another name you may have heard for it is Jack-by-the-Hedge.
If you are unsure in identifying this yummy plant, it’s heart-shaped leaves are smooth and hairless, and rather like those of nettles; when crushed, they smell of garlic. Its small, white flowers have four petals in the shape of a cross and grow in clusters at the ends of the stems.
Garlic mustard is called an invasive weed, but I think this biennial herb is fantastic! Whilst the leaves are visible throughout much of the year, the clusters of flowers only appear in late April – June. So be sure to head out and have a forage very soon. I think the flowers make them much easier to identify.
When picked and crushed, the leaves which are high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, smell like garlic, but when eaten they have a slight mustard taste too.
Leaves can be eaten in fritters, salads or perhaps pesto. It’s white flowers look beautiful as a salad garnish and the garlic mustard roots taste much spicier, like horseradish.
You can include the flowers, leaves and stems in the fritter mix so pick the tops off a few plants. Be sure to give them a good wash before eating!
Makes 8 – 10 fritters depending on how big you make them.
- 300g sweetcorn (small tin)
- a handful of washed garlic mustard leaves
- 2 free-range eggs
- 100ml milk or alternative milk – I used Oat milk
- 100g plain or wholemeal flour
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- vegetable oil, for frying
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Wash and finely chop your garlic mustard leaves, stems and flowers.
- Beat the flour, eggs and milk in a bowl.
- Add in the drained sweetcorn and chopped garlic mustard, then mix well. Season with cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
- Add a small amount of oil to a large frying pan.
- Spoon the batter into the pan – you need around 3 tbsp of mixture per fritter. You should be able to fry 4–5 at any one time.
- Fry on both sides until they are looking golden and yummy.
- Turn out onto kitchen paper to remove any excess oil and keep warm in a low oven. Continue until you have used all the batter.
Note: When foraging wild food, you should always be confident in your identification. If in doubt, please double check with a respected source. Also, please do not clear a whole area, instead take small amounts from different sources and avoid plants on the edge of paths where dogs may have urinated. On that note, always wash any foraged leaves, nuts and fruits.