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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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