Along the Grapevine

From Lawn to Table

29 Comments

Even in times of drought such as we are currently experiencing in this area, the wild greens are flourishing and there for the picking. Our vegetable gardens are still struggling, and as I am not a keen shopper I am happy that our lawn is such a great provider. This recipe is another example of what you can do with some of those nutritious, albeit pesky weeds. And if you don’t have such a lawn, you can find all these in any good foraging spots such as meadows, hedgerows and abandoned areas – even in the city.

The main ingredient for this is lambsquarters. This particular weed is most prolific, and as I tidy up my vegetable plots I still have to throw out the bulk of it. I have taken to drying it for use in the winter – in the dehydrator, the oven (at a very low temperature) and even on the dashboard of any vehicle parked in the sun, the most economical method of all. But be careful – vehicles can get really hot, so I had to stir them every hour or so to prevent from burning.

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I also used young goutweed leaves (top left) to give it a herbal flavour, and some plantain (on the right). The lambsquarters are below the goutweed. At the last minute, after taking this shot, I added dandelion leaves.

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All these mixed with some seasonings and topped with eggs made for an easy, inexpensive and super nutritious meal – and yes, even delicious! You can add more spices and herbs as you choose, and mix and match whichever wild greens you have growing. This is how I did it.

Foraged Greens and Eggs

Ingredients

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 Tbsp chopped green chili pepper

1 tsp cumin powder

salt and pepper to taste

4 cups lambsquarters

1/2 cup goutweed leaves (only the young ones from plants which have not yet flowered)

a handful of dandelion leaves

1/2 cup plantain leaves

4 eggs

Method

If using plantain, boil it in water for four minutes, drain and set aside. It is tougher than the other greens and will blend with them better if cooked longer.

Fry the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and chili and fry another couple of minutes. Add the cumin, salt and pepper. Add enough water to the pan just to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Stir in all the greens and cook at medium heat until they have all wilted completely and the water has evaporated. Break four eggs on top of the mixture, cover the pot with a lid and allow to simmer for about 4 minutes, or until the eggs have cooked sufficiently. Remove from the heat and serve. I sprinkled a little sumac powder on top for garnish.

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Linked to Fiesta Friday #129; The Not So Creative Cook and Faith, Hope, Love and Luck.

Author: Hilda

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

29 thoughts on “From Lawn to Table

  1. Wonderful use of those wild greens, though I have never knowingly had lambsquarters or goutweed leaves. Bitter greens are exceptional sautéed. I do this without any water and by letting them steam in their own juices by covering the pan with a well fitting lid. The sautéed onions also give them a bit more liquid in the pan.

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  2. You are so talented Hilda – you can make everything delicious 🙂

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  3. From lawn to table sounds better for me, Hilda. I love greens and I would also happily serve this with rice. I am happy to see you here at FF#129. 🙂

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  4. Lamb’s Quarters are Fat Hen in the UK (strange how we have such different words for the same thing) – my favourite wild green. Not so sure about goutweed – it’s another name for Ground Elder in UK but that doesn’t look like ours. Wiki does show your version as well as ours so I will obviously have to do some reading.

    As for drying it in a car – sheer genius!

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  5. Thanks for commenting. I know it is best to use the Latin term to avoid confusion. Even in this area there are many different names for every weed, but I do use the Latin term in the first post on the plant, and try and link back to that. Of course the idea of this post is really to use any edibles in the lawn – they are some of the best. As for drying in the car, I started with blueberries which have enough moisture they can withstand the heat. It is not only using a free source of energy, it also makes your car smell heavenly!

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  6. Your foraged greens look delicious with those eggs Hilda, I could just eat some now. Happy Fiesta & have a great weekend x

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  7. Love this. Do you have purslane? I’m trying to work up the nerve to eat mine…

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    • I do have a little. As long as you know it is purslane, it takes no courage whatsoever to try it. It is probably the best tasting wild edible you will find, as well as the most nutritious. I did a recipe for a waldorf salad using it, but I don’t have enough to do a lot with it. I try to propagate it, but being a weed it has a mind of its own. It likes its own space with not too much tall stuff crowding it out, so I usually find it in abandoned pots. Let me know if you try it – I guarantee you won’t regret it.

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  8. What a brilliant idea to dry them out in your car! Love the greens paired with eggs. YUM!

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  9. Wow! This looks and sounds delicious. I wish I was adventurous about foraging… Someday!

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  10. This is fantastic..I love the way this is presented and absolutely admire your foraging instincts 🙂

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  11. This is so interesting and looks delicious, Hilda. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. I adore the use of your car dashboard to dry vegetables…Genius! Thanks for joining Fiesta Friday!

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  13. What an intriguing mixture of greens Hilda! We used to have lamb’s quarters taking over our garden blot. I think they’re still lurking around, so I will have to take a look. I also just love the idea of using the car dashboard as a dehydrator 🙂

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  14. Looks delicious and so healthy.

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  15. I’m excited about this! I love the taste of lambsquarters, though I hate cleaning them, but I haven’t tried plantain weeds. There is a small patch that I’m actually keeping. I was thinking about using the seeds. Got any ideas?

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    • Thanks Angie for dropping by. Cleaning them isn’t really any worse than cleaning spinach – and when cooked that white fuzz you don’t care for disappears. As for the seeds of plantain, and of lambsquarters for that matter, they keep nagging at me but I have not yet found a way to clean, or at least remove the husk from them. I do hope to figure it out one day though.

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  16. My hat is off to you, Hilda! You are so knowledgeable! Every post I visited today had something new for me to learn. I love greens, but obviously don’t know all of them. How you have utilized these greens to a meal is amazing. 🙂

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  17. I love the idea of cooking foraged greens! It is a splendid idea! We use some leaves like the colacasia leaves which grows like weeds only during the monsoon season in our area.

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    • Thanks Suchitra. Monsoon season must have started by now – I hope. Wild greens really can be the tastiest and I imagine you have some great ideas for preparing them.

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  18. As you can probably tell Hilda – I am finally catching up a bit in the blogosphere. I’ve just finished about six months worth of deadlines. This post of yours makes me so badly want to come up and visit and follow you around learning about foraging. Would you be game for such an afternoon sometime soon?

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    • I just got back from a trip – hence the delay. I am here for the rest of the week and maybe even longer. Give me a call and we’ll arrange a get together and if you like a foraging event in my desert garden.

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  19. What a lovely way to use those tasty greens, Hilda! Yuuuummm!

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