Along the Grapevine

Gardener’s Pizza

4 Comments

This recipe was inspired by one of David Lebowitz’s blogs where he described eating a pizza at a friend’s house which was made simply of fried vegetables on top of a layer of Dijon mustard spread on the dough before baking. I decided to try it using creeping Charlie, something I had never tried cooking with before. The result was very good, and will make that one again, perhaps using mushrooms, eggplant or some other vegetable I have in my garden. I might even consider using other mustards, but the mustard is a must. Its sharpness is a great substitute for cheese!

If you do a search for creeping Charlie, you will find it is something to be got rid of, the pestiest of pests known to gardeners. I am not about to start fighting this one – I would surely lose. It is not unattractive at all, and now that I understand that it has the superior nutritional value shared by many unwanted weeds, albeit not a lot of flavour, I will just remove it from where it interferes with my actual garden, and eat it! There’s a slogan: “If you can’t beat it, …”

It is another of those weeds which enjoys  popularity as a medicinal herb in many countries, and is most often taken as a tea. As with any new food, one should always approach it with caution, just in case of allergies or whatever. So the pizza is garnished with a few of the younger leaves to test flavour etc. I also tried a couple raw just to make sure.

100_0444100_0443

These pictures should help you identify it. If you have a super healthy lawn, you might have trouble finding it there, but otherwise it is everywhere. If you are in doubt, check with someone who knows, or search more pictures on the many sites covering this subject, such as the one here.

Gardener’s Pizza

Begin with any pizza dough of your choice. I used a whole wheat one for this recipe.

Fry some onions until soft, add zucchini, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper to taste and continue to fry until all the vegetables are soft.

Toss the creeping Charlie leaves in enough olive oil to coat.

Spread the dough with a layer of Dijon mustard. Arrange the vegetables on top, and cover with a layer of creeping Charlie leaves. Bake in the oven as you would for any other pizza (350 until it looks done).

100_0446

Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

4 thoughts on “Gardener’s Pizza

  1. Oh, yeah, I’ve seen these. I thought it was malva. Good to know it’s edible. Your pizza looks fantastic. I’m adding creeping Charlie to my edible weeds list right now. Thanks, Hilda!

    Like

  2. I’ve never heard of the name ‘Creeping Charlie’ – love it! it’s ‘Ground ivy’ in the UK. Though I think I agree with ‘novice gardener’ – the bottom photo looks like Malva (maybe small mallow Malva parviflora – but there are several similar ones) – I don’t think the two photos are of the same plant, though they do look remarkably similar. It’s hard to put a finger on what the difference is, but the veins of mallow are a bit straighter and more sunken – the Creeping Charlie veins are more branched, and the edges of the leaves are a bit more scalloped. I could be wrong (but I don’t think so – I have both these in my garden too). Anyway, mallow leaves are apparently edible too (but won’t have the strong smell of the other plant). 🙂

    Like

    • Hi, Thanks for pointing that out. I have been checking this myself, and now know the difference. I will post updates soon. Both are edible, the biggest difference is creeping charlie grows like a vine, with roots growing out of its stem. Mallow has one, deep, strong root. The flowers on mallow are more regular (five petals like a hibiscus) and the leaves are not as perfectly round, more scalloped. Live and learn! Another difference is the seeds of the mallow are worth harvesting. I am in the process of making capers with them and will post that recipe if they turn out.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s