Friday, April 29, 2011

"Was Beth in the Backyard Picking Dandelion Greens?"

Over the winter I had brought to my attention the notion of eating "weeds," something I'd never thought to consider before.    Of course, I couldn't really put it into practice because I hadn't seen anything remotely green (save the evergreen trees) for months.  Now....spring is here!  Green is back.  Things are growing and budding and blooming.

So, day before last I went out in the backyard with a big kitchen bowl and started picking the dandelion leaves that are growing like crazy back there.  (Seriously, we have quite the patch of them)  I've read they are best when they are young, especially before the flower starts to grow and blossom, and that is just the conditions in my yard.  So, I went a picking.


It was really relaxing and didn't take long at all before I had more than enough for Matt and I and our friend, Derek, who would be coming over for dinner. 

I hear there are many benefits of eating wild things over cultivated things.  The wild things are stronger and more nutritionally robust because they have to be.  They have to fend for themselves.  They are not "pampered" and given exactly the "right" conditions.   My only caution is to be sure that the area where you are picking from has not been treated with dangerous chemicals. 


Also, in the case of at least the dandelion, they are prolific and grow just about everywhere!  And almost everyone can recognize them.  It is FREE food!  Do I need to say more?!

I cannot wait to try fried dandelion blossoms when the flowers emerge.

The finale of the story is that yesterday Matt was working in the garden and our kindly neighbor, Rodney, came over to chat, as he frequently does, about how nice the garden was looking and the nice weather, etc.  After the customary garden talk he says, somewhat skeptically, "Was Beth in the backyard picking dandelion green yesterday?"  Matt said "Yeah, we ate them for dinner."  Rodney replied with what seemed minor shock "How on Earth do you eat dandelion greens?!" 


For the record:  I sauteed slivered onion and minced garlic in olive oil.  I added the greens which were finely chopped in the food processor.  I added kidney beans.  I flavored it with lemon juice, soy sauce, maple syrup, cayenne, salt, pepper and a splash of some Asian toasted sesame sauce I am trying to finish use up.  I tossed it with some quinoa.   It was pretty darn good.  I think the leftovers were even better than the first go-round.

I will definitely be adding this as a regular, seasonal, (free) food in my diet.

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