Eat your weeds: lambsquarters

lambsqI don’t want to think too hard about the fact that I went to a farmers market and paid for weeds.

But I did. This weekend, I noticed some lambsquarters for sale at the Crystal Organics stall at the Morningside Farmers Market. I remember foraging for these edible wild plants along the banks of a ravine near our house in Denver when we lived there. A friend had shown us how to recognize them, and after that they were as welcome as a wild blackberry bramble.

But without any inside scoop on the best foraging spots in Atlanta, I was happy to see them for sale.

These spade-shaped leaves have a very “meaty” texture and don’t release much of anything in the way of juice. While you can boil them, their flavor and nutritional profile is better if you braise them in olive oil. I added a chopped leek and a thyme sprig along with a healthy glug of olive oil to a Dutch oven, covered the pot, and let the greens braise over a low flame for a good 40 minutes. Partway through, they were starting to stick, so i added a spoonful of water.

Oil-braising is very much a technique used in Aegean countries, where women have traditionally worn aprons with pockets to collect wild greens. By braising these greens in olive oil, the nutrients locked within become easier for our bodies to absorb.

They’re also delicious. And if anyone has the hookup for a good lambsquarter foraging spot, I’m all ears.

- by John Kessler for the Food & More blog

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