RECIPES: Edible Invasives on Martha’s Vineyard

If you can’t beat’em, eat’em!

Some invasive species are surprisingly tasty. Herewith, inspiration for putting our problems on our plates:

Garlic mustard: Use to make pesto or mixed with salad greens

Phragmites: Take the shoots right where they meet the roots, boil and toss with butter. 

Green crabs: Use the meat any way you’d use any crab meat.

Japanese knotweed: Since this tastes something like rhubarb, use it in similar ways — in baking, soups, or stews. Or steam it and toss with garlic. Take the shoots when they’re 6 to 8 inches tall. Any taller and they’re tough.

Autumn olive: Use the berries in smoothies, mixed with yogurt, or make into jams and jellies

Kudzu: Parboil the leaves to soften the sometimes bristly hairs and then use in salads, or as wraps.

Honeysuckle: This one below comes courtesy of Suzan Bellincampi.

Spirited Honeysuckle (Strain out the spiders)

Collect honeysuckle flowers and fill a mason jar (do not crush or pack in flowers)

Pour your favorite spirit over the flowers (vodka and gin work well)

Store in a cool place for a few weeks

Strain out pollen, plant bits, spiders, and other debris

Use in your favorite cocktail or make a simple syrup (feel free to infuse more flowers) to make it a liqueur or cordial


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