Thursday, June 18, 2009

Edible Lamb’s Quarters

Since I moved to West Virginia some 30 years ago, and first picked a “mess o’ spring greens” with Grace, an elderly neighbor, I had never ventured to eat Lamb’s Quarters. I have tried dandelion greens, mustard greens, and wild cress, but something about their fuzzy faces or their name put me off.

This last year, we had to cut down a giant of a White Pine. It was the defining being of our farm, especially my front yard. Seen from the hill above my house, the tree could easily fit three of our house in volume. I am still mourning its loss. But from the remains has sprung a mess of new growth – weeds. Among those weeds, which the men had not got around to string trimming, was the most lush patch of Lamb’s Quarters. The tedious thing about picking wild greens is finding them. Here was a bounty begging to be picked - young and tender. So I did.

Lamb’s Quarters (species Chenopodium album) are also called wild spinach and are related to amaranth. They are very mild tasting and tender, but I’d have to say rather bland. I really like the bite of spinach. They would be an excellent addition to a salad mix. But my oldest son had been asking me to make a catfish pie – of all things!
So I washed and steamed them just like spinach. Then I chopped them and put them in the bottom of a catfish pie.

Here are some references and recipes for Lamb's Quarters.

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