Jack by the Hedge
Jack by the Hedge is a herb that flowers in the Spring, though the leaves can be found during winter due to their natural anti-freeze abilities.
Jack by the hedge is a biennial plant that changes appearance in its second year. The first year leaves are much broader and rounder, growing closer to the ground and in the second year elongate into a pointed, almost arrow-like shape. The flowers are white and delicate and grow in little clusters.
Jack by the Hedge as the name suggests is often found in the hedgerows but also frequently in shady woodland patches.
Jack by the Hedge tastes mildly garlicky and mustardy. When the leaves are young it is a great leaf to eat raw and a lovely inclusion in salads and things however, the leaves do bitter as the year goes on. The mature leaves are still edible and in the restaurant, we love the bitter element it can bring to a dish. We've BBQ'd the leaves and used them to wrap fish dumplings or served the BBQ'd leaves alongside beef. We also, often ferment the leaves or dehydrate them to make powders, but things such as pestos and sauces are an option too- it's a super versatile leaf.