Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Eat Yer Weeds!!

Kind of appropriate for 4-20! I always listen to NPR in the morning, on Monday, they had a story about urban foraging - finding weeds in vacant lots and eating them. Now, I currently have a crop of weeds going strong in my yard. I knew the dandelions are edible, but I just never thought of researching the others. Apparently, my yard isn't a weed infested eyesore, it's a garden of AWESOME!!! I have blue mustard everywhere, and also a bit of milkweed, which according to the link does not live in western states. Link is a liar. Just be careful when identifying your milkweed, dogbane sprouts look very similar, but are not edible. It's a perennial, and easier to identify the mature plant, so if you look for the sprouts where the big plant was last year, you can rest easier. Be sure to forage in an area free from traffic, pesticides, herbicides, and animal waste. Want a recipe for weeds? Here's TWO!!

Simple Milkweed Sprouts
3 cups milkweed sprouts, harvest sprouts 6" long or less, strip of all but the smallest leaves
two quarts water
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
butter, salt & pepper to taste

Prepare and wash milkweed sprouts, bring water to a full rolling boil. Carefully add sprouts to boiling water, boil for at least 10 minutes, 20 is fine too. Remove from heat, and stir in the vinegar. Then just drain, season with butter, salt and pepper, and eat up. Expect a flavor like asparagus + green beans. Makes 3-6 servings, depending on how ravenous you are.

Wild Blue Mustard Greens
8 cups of leaves from Blue Mustard, washed
one slice bacon, or 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. diced onion and red bell pepper
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

If using bacon, fry the bacon in a large skillet until it releases some grease, but not until crispy. Add olive oil, onion, and bell pepper. Saute until onion is translucent. Gradually add greens, stirring and adding until all are wilted. Sprinkle with vinegar and sugar, and if you're using liquid smoke, now is the time to add that. Cook for one more minute, remove from heat, and add salt and pepper to taste. Makes two decent servings.

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