Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
It is a warm, high humidity day here on our farm. Storms have been brewing and we are expecting rain for at least 5 more days. Wind is blowing strong, trees are turning green and the rain and warmth has grass and all things growing in abundance. Good green weeds are taking over. Yes, this is a bad thing. I do get really annoyed at Poke weed that comes up from last years roots even larger and stronger than the year before. The root systems that they develop are so deep and enormous! Lambs Quarter also become such a nuisance and so hard to pull up when they get over a foot tall. Red Veined Dock is beautiful, but is also a large pesky weed that will keep coming back if you do not remove all the root as well.
At lunchtime today I gathered the fresh new leaves of all these weeds and blended them for a quick stir-fry. I was actually able to gather all of these from my back yard which is fortunate and unfortunate. If gathering Poke, please be sure to gather only the new leaves, as they can be potent if they are older leaves (older poke can be eaten, but is usually boiled twice to remove the bitterness). Lambs Quarter is my favorite and can be used stem and all. It has a mild, almost asparagus like flavor. All the leaves are then rinsed in water and rung out in the salad spinner. I heat my iron skillet, melt a couple of Tablespoons of butter and add the greens. As the greens heat I added a quarter cup of water and cover it with a lid. This steams them, making even the lambs quarter stems tender. After 3-4 minutes I remove the lid and let all the water evaporate and add sliced green onions and stir and cook it for a couple of more minutes. Season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic.
This is a good side with any meal, or simmer with a little broth and serve over corn bread like cooked greens. I have friends who have been finding fresh morel mushrooms; those would be a perfect accompaniment to this dish...those lucky ducks! There is something healthy and cleansing in the spring about eating fresh greens. I look forward to it every spring.
photo credit:winter onion (top), red viened dock, poke weed, lambs quarter (left to right)