Seasonal salad – weeds

spring weeds salad

Do you have weeds in your garden? I hope you do – at least a few. Because if you have none you must either be an OCD gardener who puts the rest of us to shame, or you spray herbicides (please tell me you don’t do that?). I must admit that even though my kitchen garden is a lot tidier than my house, there are a few weeds here and there.

dandelion and ground elder

dandelion and ground elder

Some that escaped my attention and some that I consciously let be. For example, I have a hard time pulling out nettles, because they make such a tasty nutritious spring vegetable, are important for many butterflies species and potently medicinal, too.

white nettle and garlic mustard

white nettle and garlic mustard

In the shady part of our allotment around the compost heap (too shady for vegetables) I let the spicy garlic mustard and ground ivy reign free. There’s also ground elder around the edge of our edible forest garden that requires constant vigilance. But many more common weeds are edible and usually very nutritious as well.

urban foraging

fat hen and ground ivy

fat hen and ground ivy

Yesterday we took a walk around the neighbourhood and picked this mixed salad. We had a family weed tasting and fortunately the kids were game (even though Esther said she prefers tasting macarons). Below you can see what weeds we picked and read our taste notes.
If there are any other wild edibles you like, let me know!

common daisy and white clover

common daisy and white clover

p.s. Needless to say, but: when foraging you need to know for sure what you’re picking. Also: beware of areas frequented by dogs/cats and plants growing in potentially contaminated soil.

spring weeds salad

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) – slightly bitter, reminiscent of chicory
Common chickweed (Stellaria media) – nice “lettucy” flavour, can be added in quantity
Fat Hen (Chenopodium album) – taste reminiscent of spinach (to which it is related)
Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) – slightly bitter and only young leaves are palatable
Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) – garlicky and peppery, just as you would expect based on its name
Hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) – th esmall leaves taste just like cultivated cress
Ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria) – neutral, “green” taste
White nettle (Lamium album) – nice, fairly neutral taste (does not sting!)
Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea) – strongly aromatic, according to Remco it tastes like “sausage on the barbecue” – as a vegetarian I can’t back that up, but I bet it got you curious!
Common daisy (Bellis perennis) – pretty flowers with unremarkable taste
White clover (Trifolium repens) – slightly bitter with a hint of cucumber

3 comments for “Seasonal salad – weeds

  1. 18/02/2016 at 22:26

    Hier in Praag kun je de Codex Gigas bewonderen, ik weet niet op welke mnaeir en hoeveel glas ertussen zit, maar toch Ik ga een dezer dagen (ik woon in Praag) dat boekie toch maar eens bekijken

  2. Jo
    21/05/2015 at 13:30

    I’m so behind on my allotment at the moment that there are more weeds than veggies. What great sports your kids are tasting weeds, I had enough problems getting my two to eat their greens when they were younger, they definitely wouldn’t have volunteered for a taste test.

    • vera@gtc
      25/05/2015 at 11:07

      My kids are pretty well trained, I’ve been feeding them all kinds of weird greens since they were toddlers 🙂
      I am sure you will catch up on your allotment soon – there’s still plenty of time to make something of this season!

Geef een reactie

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd. Verplichte velden zijn gemarkeerd met *