Thursday, April 28, 2011

Edible Wild Spring Greens

The crazy weather continues- yesterday we had some heavy rain but it cleared long enough for me to get out and play in the gardens for a while. One of the composters is in need of some repair so I emptied the entire thing onto the garden, raked out the good stuff and left the partially composted matter out overnight to get a good soaking from the rain. I'm heading to the hardware store to day to get some replacement screws to put it back together but in the meantime the wind has been blowing ferociously and I may not have any compost left to put in it!

The soil will benefit from the newly added compost and all the rain is helping mix it in. I raked a bit yesterday as well so things are looking nice and rich, ready for planting! I hope to get some cool weather seeds in the ground in the next few days; peas,rapini and lettuces for now. It will be a few weeks before we'll be harvesting them so in the meantime I dug a few dandelions and spring onions and made a tasty wilted greens salad.

Bitter greens like dandelions, garlic mustard, lambs quarters and nettles are an excellent liver cleanser as well as a source of iron and vitamin C, and best of all, they're free! They can be foraged even in the city although it's best to pick them where you know the ground is not contaminated with pesticides or other toxins.

Wilted Spring Greens Salad

2-3 cups of mixed bitter greens (I used dandelions and added some beetgreens left from Easter dinner at a friend's- he was going to throw them out!)
glug of olive oil and small amount (about 1/2 tsp) of bacon fat (you can use a different fat such as butter or omit it altogether but it adds a nice flavour with the bitterness of the greens)
1 clove of garlic crushed
1 med onion sliced in rings
1-2 tsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
splash of soy sauce
Fresh ground pepper
Spring onions, chopped

Wash greens well and remove roots and older leaves which can be too tough. Chop in bite sized pieces. Heat fats in a frying pan over med heat until sizzling, add sliced onions and garlic, stir until softened. Add greens, stir briefly and add pepper, vinegar and soy sauce- mix thoroughly and turn off heat. Allow to rest briefly -the greens will continue to wilt with the heat of the frying pan. Garnish with spring onions and serve.

Serves 2 as a side dish. Or for a meal for one, add walnuts or pine nuts with the greens and lightly toast them before adding liquids. You can also add some crumbled feta(as I did) or goat cheese or a chopped hardboiled egg. Healthy and delicious!

1 comment:

  1. A girl after my own heart, I just did a post this week about the joy's of using wild greens including Dandelions, I can't wait for beet greens but it will be awhile yet before they get planted and are up.

    We had bad winds here as well, it did some damage that will need to be repaired.