||[Mar. 11th, 2017|05:04 pm]
We sauteed the chickweed but before it went in the frying pan I ate a sprig raw and really I think it's better that way. As a cooked veg it becomes mushy and generic but as a salad item it tastes quite intensely green- viridian even.|
Who knew chickweed was so good to eat? Well, our great, great grandparents did- and we've forgotten. We've forgotten so much.
It is good!
So are nettles and hop shoots.
I've cooked with nettles. Hop shoots are yet to come my way.
They make a great salad veg when picked young- slightly bitter and astringent and they work well with milder salads like lambs lettuce and chard.
You may have to look for freebie wild ones in the hedgerows as I've never seen them on sale.
I don't think I've ever tried chickweed, though last year it would have been a major crop in my vegetable garden!
And of course it's also a very attractive salad green, really, so I'll definitely try it out this year. (I can't see it being attractive when cooked, though - not many soft greens are.)
(Now you have me looking forward to the first tender shoots of ground elder - and sweet, fresh beech leaves!)
You can eat beech leaves? Now that I didn't know!
You can eat all beech leaves, but they're only nice if they're completely newly sprung - otherwise they're a bit like chewing on parchment. The completely fresh, lime green leaves, though, are rather tender and has a bit of a sweetness to them in my opinion. So the season tends to be only a couple of days, really.
I suspect the more mature leaves won't be nice even if cooked; they're too fibrous and have lost that sweetness of fresh shoots.
(My mother has taught me a lot about what's edible and what's not. I grew up with nasturtiums and marigolds in the salad bowl when I was a kid...)