Over the past several years, I’ve become interested in edible wild plants. Not only are they free, but they’re generally higher in nutritional value than their cultivated relatives. They are oftentimes abundant and at our fingertips, as well. My favorite newly discovered wild green is lamb’s-quarters (Chenopodium album). Most people are familiar with it, even if they don’t recognize it by name. It grows rampantly throughout the United States and Canada. I’ve known for years that lamb’s-quarters are edible — however, I just recently began eating them.
You can eat the entire aboveground part of lamb’s-quarters (leaves, stems and even seeds). So far, I have just been eating the tender tops of young plants, 10 inches or less. They have a mild flavor, somewhat similar to spinach. The leaves can be used just like spinach in pretty much any recipe.
Here’s my favorite lamb’s-quarters preparation. Makes 2 servings.
1 tbsp butter or ghee
2 cloves garlic, minced6 button mushrooms, sliced
2 large handfuls tender tops of lamb’s-quarters, washed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Melt butter or ghee in a hot skillet. Add garlic, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Sauté for a couple of minutes. Add lamb’s-quarters.
Sauté for another few minutes until greens are done to your preferred tenderness.
Fort Sumner, New Mexico
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