What Are Your Favorite (Unusual) Spring Greens — And What Do You Do With Them?

| 4/19/2010 4:46:33 PM

Tags: greens, recipes, question to readers,

Greens of all kinds are the guests of the garden that greet us first and stay til the end of the party. If you want to cook with locally abundant foods, greens are almost always a good place to start because different greens are available from spring to fall, and even winter. Did you know you could eat young beet and radish greens? Have you ever tried tangy sorrel or juicy purslane? What are your favorite eating greens? Share your tips and recipes with each other in the comments section below.



See also: 

Easy Early Salads with Perennial Greens 

Zesty Sorrel — The Garden Green with Zing! 

bs w_3
5/15/2010 10:32:32 PM

our favorite is Barlauchblatter (not sure of the english name), we first discovered it in Europe where it comes up wild in woodlands and yards. Brought some seeds back and it grows well in our PNW climate. It has a nice garlic-like flavor and can be used fresh in salads and sautees, or dried in any number of ways.

jeanne benink
4/26/2010 12:35:31 PM

The invasive species called Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) puts out lovely edible green leaves that make awesome sautees. Because this herb is considered an invasive species here in WI, we pull the entire plant before it flowers, harvest the leaves to eat, then dispose of the rest of the plant. We would normally compost the stems and root, but it's not encouraged in our state because it's choking out some of our forests.

4/24/2010 8:33:28 PM

Fresh, young radish tops--cook as you would mustard or kale. Satisfies that early spring carving for something green besides cole crops.

annie p howell_2
4/24/2010 8:35:02 AM

My favorite green is Arugula. Its spicy nutty flavor is great in salads, and if you saute them in onions and garlic, they lose their heat an the nutty flavor is enhanced...Yum! Annie

4/23/2010 10:55:14 PM

Dandelion greens are my favorite. Pick them before they bloom (they get bitter after blooming). Wash them with cold water and set aside. Fry some bacon, remove the bacon and add some cider vinegar to the drippings, add some sugar (I use splenda instead) and then mix in a hardboiled egg that you have masdhed or chopped up. Stir and the pour over the dandelion greens. Very tasty!!

phillip t_2
4/23/2010 8:35:05 PM

Hairy bittercress grows wild in our area. It makes a great salad when dressed with a tamari/toasted sesame oil vinaigrette and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.

4/23/2010 4:25:21 PM

ramps and dandelion greens. I like to saute ramps and put them on eggs or macaroni cheese or saute them together with whatever greens are in the garden (kale, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, etc). They're also good as a compound butter on potatoes and sweet potatoes. The dandelion greens I wilt onto baked potatoes, with a little bacon and pan gravy. And maybe some ramps if I have extras. :-)

4/23/2010 4:10:54 PM

Mache is my favorite to cultivate, but I love to forage lamb's quarters and watercress!

4/23/2010 3:25:07 PM

Mache is my favorite to cultivate, but I love to forage lamb's quarters and watercress!

4/23/2010 2:11:03 PM

My favorite spring greens are ramps. They grow wild in this part of the country, and there many delicious ways to fix them, but my favorite is chopped up, sauteed lightly in a little butter and stir in eggs for "Green Eggs" mmmm...

4/23/2010 11:29:52 AM

The only "unusual" spring green that I enjoy isn't found directly in my garden. Mine is found five minutes away in a damp, overgrown valley. It is " The Fiddlehead", of course! Steamed or boiled, then sprikled with vinegar, salt and pepper. Absolutely fabulous! It's a family event each year first to make a few exploratory trips into the woods to watch their progress and then finally when they are ready to be picked, it is a game to see who can spot the most and pick the fastest! Of course when its time to clean them the game is over and Im left to fend for myself. After the work of cleaning has passed, we eat and eat,,,

susan keys_2
4/23/2010 11:28:38 AM

My favorite unusual garden green is claytonia. It began as a weed in No California but is now a mild, succulent, beautiful little salad green. You eat the leaves and flowers and stems (if you like). It is very winter hardy and grows all winter in my unheated growhouse under fabric. It seeds itself so you only buy seeds once. They are available from Johnny's.

4/23/2010 11:04:25 AM

In my garden I grow beets, swiss chard, collard greens and oregano. My favorite way to eat them is to saute all of them together in olive oil and elephant garlic.( elephant garlic has a milder flavor.) Sometimes I add sesame seeds and toasted almonds to add an oriental flair to common southern greens or red wine for a more European flair.

4/23/2010 10:51:17 AM

I have two favorites... Kale tossed with olive oil and sea salt and roasted [SO delicious!] and collard greens lightly sauteed in vegetable broth with a bit of garlic.

4/23/2010 10:22:18 AM

I've often made purslane, it makes a very nice addition to slaw as well as just added to green salad. I also eat lambs quarter, it tastes much like spinach, and the small tender shoots of hosta is also edible. My favorite green is beet tops, they are much milder than turnip tops. I've also found it easy, even here in Michigan's, to grow radicchio and romaine.

barbara j._3
4/23/2010 9:52:57 AM

I've found that watercress is easy to grow from seed. And it doesn't require to be in moving water, a common misconception. It is a tasty addition to salads and even reseeds itself. Just leave it alone when the flowers appear in the spring.

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