I have written about lambsquarters ( chenopodium album ) in previous posts, and as I practice what I preach, I do use these super greens throughout the season – and even freeze and dry them for use in the winter. They can be used in any recipe calling for spinach, so there is really no need to compile too many recipes for it on the blog. But at this time of year, it is worth remembering that this plant is widely available, easy to harvest, and well worth the bother. For cooked dishes, I actually prefer it to spinach as it has a nicer texture and more flavour. I use it in savoury pies, quiches, stir fries, soups – in short, I use it a lot.
If allowed to grow, they can grow very tall, and if the soil is good they will continue to produce a deep green leaf with no blemishes. I have some beautiful patches, all grown in rich organic soil. Just remember not to pick it in any contaminated soil as it can absorb nitrates. Also, if using raw, it is advisable to add lemon to neutralize the oxalic acid.
I decided to try making a variation of samosas. Normally I make these with carrots, potatoes, peas and spices, but using what I have available in the garden at the moment meant something greener.
So a green curry paste with lots of greens mixed in, and a simple samosa dough which is super elastic and easy to work with.
Just fry some chopped onions and potatoes.
Add the spices, herbs and greens.
Roll out the dough, cut and place a spoonful of mixture on top.
Roll up samosa style, and bake.
For the pastry
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
3/4 – 1 cup of water
Mix the flour, salt and oil thoroughly. Gradually add the water until the dough holds together. Cover and chill for about an hour. Roll very thin, and cut into circles to make the samosas.
For the Filling
oil for frying
1 onion, chopped
1 new potato, chopped and unpeeled
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp green curry paste
2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 cup peas or green beans, chopped into small bits
1 cup steamed lambsquarters
salt and pepper to taste
Fry the onion and potato until the potato is cooked. Add the garlic, cury paste and herbs and fry 2 minutes longer. Add the peas, cooked lambsquarters, salt and pepper and cook another minute, stirring to combine everything well. Allow to cool.
To fill, place a spoonful of filling on a circle of dough about 3 inches in diameter.
Press together the opposite sides from the middle to the end, forming a cone shape. Then pull up the base of the open part to join the first seam, creating another seam perpendicular to the first one.
Place samosas on a parchment lined baking tray and bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.
Mine are a little dark because I used Red Fife flour, but if you want them a lighter, more golden colour, use all purpose flour.
Samosas are excellent with a tamarind chutney, but as I am using local ingredients, I made a dipping sauce with crabapple paste mixed with enough vinegar to make a thick sauce, a little cumin and some methi (dried fenugreek leaves) sprinkled on top.
I served it with a cabbage salad, cucumbers garnished with lemon balm and raita made with fresh mint and purslane.
They can be served hot or not, as an appetizer, part of a meal, or just a healthful snack when you have been out exerting yourself, which in my case means ripping out masses of weeds, including lambsquarters. By the way, the weeds are doing very well this summer.
Linked to Fiesta Friday #78.