Recipes

Nettle With Fetta and Preserved Lemon

Steam Nettles lightly, just a couple of minutes. They will wilt like spinach and lose their sting entirely (really!).

Place in a serving bowl, splash generously with good olive oil, crumble fetta over and toss lightly. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Leaves with Crushed Peanut Sauce

Stir-fry pumpkin leaves in peanut oil (or olive oil) for a minute. Put the lid on and allow to steam for 5 minutes. Add tomato puree or sugo and a handful of crushed roasted peanuts. Stir and let simmer for five minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Green Smoothie

Strictly, the basic recipe is to take a blender and fill it with roughly 1/3 green leafy vegetables and 2/3 fruit, plus water. For the serious green smoothyist, the ultimate idea is to eat only raw fruit and veg.

For those of us still a little hooked on dairy, or maybe for something less 'serious' for the kids, try this variation which is a winner at our house.

Banana / Honey / Milk + Just about any ANY edible green leafies! Yummy options include dandelion leaves, silverbeet, kale, nettles (really! you don't need to cook them), mallow, sticky weed or sow thistle - or any combination of these. Any green leafy edible weeds are good except perhaps the oniony tasting ones.

We try other wacky things in our smoothies. Huge winner is spiced, poached quince - just add a tablespoon or so for a very sophisticated smoothy! Stewed apple is great. Or pop in a bit of juice - apple, orange, grapefruit or if you have juiced some carrots and celery or something else, add a bit of the juice to your smoothy.

If you don't have bananas for that nice thick smoothy texture we all love, try a couple of spoonfuls of oatmeal (uncooked, silly!), Alternatively, some linseed or almond meal. Yoghurt is great and good for the digestive system.

Basically, let your imagination run wild with smoothies. We are currently adding Yacon juice to ours - Peruvian Ground Apple some call it. Sweet and great for diabetics or anyone who wants a good, natural sugar. Stewed rhubarb can be delicious too!

 

Cooking with Three Cornered Leek

A prized edible weed in the UK, three-cornered leek has a subtle flavour like leek or spring onion. An amazing allium which can be found growing fresh in Autumn and Winter when many other alliums die back eg., chives, or are just starting to grow, eg., garlic. You can work hard growing spring onions or nature grows three cornered leek for you!

Leaves can be chopped like spring onions or garlic chives.

As the season progresses the white bulbs can be harvested and used like onions.

The flower buds, after the flowers have finished, can be pickled and used instead of capers.

Use in ‘smooth soup’s like broccoli, Jerusalem artichoke, potato – or on mashed potato or potato salad. Make 'incredible’ pesto, or, in home-made bread to impart a subtle oniony flavour.

Contains sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they … help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

 

Joys of Chickweed in the Kitchen

For a plant, the humble little Chickweed is extremely high in PROTEIN – 15-20%. The highly nourishing leaves are also a good source of calcium, chromium, cobalt, molybdenum, magnesium, manganese, silicon and zinc. Also, very high in Vitamin C and iron.

Chickweed can be used in salads, soups or stir fries. It makes great pesto.

Chickweed can be added to sandwiches (a little like alfalfa sprouts texture-wise) and used in scrambled eggs. No cooking required as it is light and soft and easy to eat raw.

 

Ways with Weeds in the Kitchen

You can...

  • Many you can just eat RAW. Add them to a sandwich or a wrap, nibble on them in the garden, pop them in a salad, have them as a garnish.
  • Add them to a SMOOTHIE - a milky one or a fruit juice green smoothie
  • There's a funny old word - POTHERB. Basically means just add handfuls of whatever green leaves you have to the dish you are making - stews, soups, pasta or rice dishes, curries. Dahl is a great dish to add a handful of greens to. Most edible weeds can be used as potherbs. Mallow has the advantage of thickening any dish you add it to!
  • Some leaves can be made into nourishing and soothing TEAS by adding boiling water and letting them sit for a wee while - lemonbalm, clover, nettles are some examples
  • If you have loads, why not DRY them to use out of season? Nettles are dried to give to horses as a high nutrition supplement! Good for us too! You can use them as they are or crush them to a powder - put them in any dish - soups, stews, curries, or you can sprinkle them on your cornflakes!
  • Honestly, think of any 'normal' things you prepare in the kitchen and think 'weeds'! Stir-fries, pasta sauces, pesto, dips, stews, patties. Heaps of edible weeds, for example, go really, really well with rice.
  • And then there are really SPECIAL edible weed dishes - Mallow Soup - yuuuuum!