Saturday, April 18, 2009

Foraging Part II

AFTER my success with pokeweed, I wondered what else I could scrounge from the garden. The most obvious was the wild garlic that sprouts all over our lawn. They have long stalks like chives, and if you dig them up, clusters of tiny bulbs. I'm not 100% positive that it's wild garlic - there seem to be differing opinions all over the web - but it's definitely some kind of allium and is not poisonous. So a bunch of that went into my goulash soup.

And then there was the lowly dandelion. Despite their place on many a lawn-lover's most despised weed list, dandelions have multiple uses. Eat them, drink them, grind or chew them. Fresh young leaves make a great and nutritious salad and may also be boiled for a spinachy taste. The roots may be ground up to make a coffee-like drink and the flowers boiled for tea, eaten raw in salad or battered and fried for a crunchy little appetizer. And don't forget dandelion wine! Dandelion has been used as a herbal remedy for centuries and is an ingredient in many common pharmaceuticals in use today. Its root is particularly good for urinary and skin complaints, and with all the vitamins A, C, E and K as well as minerals in the leaves, it's no wonder there are so many rabbits around. We forewent the more complicated preparations and simply picked a few leaves to add to our salad. Yum!

No comments: