Jack by the hedge - Alliaria petiolata
This widespread plant has many common names so I’ve picked the one I was taught as a child by my grandmother. You might know it as garlic mustard or penny hedge. It grows all over the UK in hedgerows and other cool, shady spots.
The whole plant is edible; I use the young leaves and flowers raw in salads, while older leaves can be cooked like spinach and used in risotto, to stuff pasta etc. After a quick blanching, it can also be used in a herb pesto. On a wildlife note, it’s the food plant of the caterpillar of the orange tip butterfly, one of the first butterflies to be seen about in spring.
Jack by the hedge is an invasive species in some places outside Europe, particularly in North America, so I would encourage people there to eat as much of it as possible. A lot of people consider it a weed here on its home turf but I leave it be unless it’s taking over a particular area when I pull it up and feed it to the chickens.