And over the years, I have noticed a particular weed ransack the beds in a damp, stringy way. Last year, I suspected it was chick weed and actually edible. This year, I got enough courage to properly identify it and now we are eating it!
I pull it out by the roots (because it's still rather unattractive so I don't really want it in the flower beds), snip off the roots, chop it up, and saute it with some olive oil and garlic. Add a squeeze of lemon and some salt and pepper. It really tastes like spinach! However, it looks so twiggy and stringy that I didn't take a photo of the chickweed-as-food, but I think I will pull the leaves off and discard the stems next time.
I've heard chickweed is very healthy, but I'm also in love with the convenience of greens from the back yard.
Any other chickweed eaters with tips to share?
I never knew about eating it, but a number of years ago I mashed it up for a poultice. It worked, but I can't remember what I used it for! Maybe drawing out a sliver.
We haven't eaten chickweed - although it has I'm sure, ended up in greens mixes because I tend to grab a handful, pull and not sort - but we do eat dandelion greens. They make a great pesto!
I was wondering if we have this in Maine, because from the pictures I don't think I have seen this on our property. I did find this link though: http://www.mofga.org/Publications/MaineOrganicFarmerGardener/Summer2004/Chickweed/tabid/1326/Default.aspx
We've been eating dandelion pizza for weeks. Delicious. I steam a whole passle of washed dandleions with a little kale or rapini and then drain it well. Chopped with fresh Roma tomatoes and lots of garlic on pizza dough brushed with last summer's pesto, topped with mozzarella.
Eat it all spring fresh in my salad, along with dandelion greens and violets and any cresses I can find. Love the bounty of just walking around my yard for my lunch.
Becky, how do you make pesto with greens like that? I have used greens mixed with fresh basil, but I'm curious if there's another way when I don't want to buy fresh basil and don't have any in the garden yet.
If you want a LOT of chickweed, I know just where you can get some!! I have such a UNLOVELY relationship with the stuff that I can't bring myself to admit that there might be something good in it. I'm glad you liked it, though! :)
Purslane is another "free" green that is very nutritious and pretty available.
I make pesto with greens the same way I make it with basil - about 2 cups of greens with lots of garlic and olive oil or broth. I tend to use walnuts as they are cheaper than pine nuts though. I throw in some lemon juice to keep it green and a pinch of salt and then Parmesan cheese. Although sometimes I skip the cheese. To store in the fridge, I keep a layer of olive oil on top, which helps keep the pesto fresher longer.
Phoebe is growing up before our eyes! She is a real "little girl" now. We see our grandsons so infrequently they might as well live on the other side of the continent. Hoping to remedy that now that the winter sicknesses and snowy weather are - hopefully - over for a few months!
I've never eaten chickweed. I'm off to Google it.
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