The Best Way to Get Rid of Weeds: Cook 'Em
A few ways to use early-spring weeds in the kitchen.
PHOTO BY LEAH LIZARONDO
Yinz all know how much I love weeds — it's how we launched The Brazen Kitchen, after all. I love weeds because not only do they grow without effort (right?!), but they also are extremely nutrient-dense and medicinal. They are, in fact, some of the healthiest food you can eat.
We typically throw them out — but once you give them a try, you will never look back. Check out the Garlic Mustard and Stinging Nettle Pesto with Roasted Walnuts recipe. Or the Chickweed Crepes. OUTSTANDING, if I may say so myself. So great in fact, that it was even featured nationally on NPR.
Here are a couple more recipes that use weeds:
Give them a try.
And here’s a new one for this year: Weed Dip.
This dip uses lamb’s quarter.** This weed will grow mid-spring and has a taste much like spinach. It also is packed with beta-carotene, calcium, potassium and iron. I love the mild taste of this weed and use it in any way I use spinach.
Photo via Wikimedia commons, by 6th Happiness (own work)
Hence this recipe — I love it because it reminds me of spinach-artichoke dip! Without the spinach. Or artichokes. Or dairy. OK, I know — sounds crazy. But like I ask you all of the time: Trust me.
Here's a recipe for one of the best things you can do with a weed. Ever.
From Hot Knives
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 4 cloves (or more) garlic, minced
- 4 cups lamb’s quarter, leaves only, washed
- 1 can coconut milk
- 8 large basil leaves (torn) or ½ cup dill or oregano
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- sea salt and fresh black pepper
- Soak the cashews overnight in the water.
- In a pan, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
- Add the lamb’s quarter and sauté until wilted, about 10 minutes.
- Add basil.
- Add coconut milk. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Drain cashews and purée in a blender or food processor.
- Add half the coconut milk/lamb’s quarter mixture and blend until smooth.
- Return purée to the pot.
- Add lemon juice and taste, adjusting seasonings as needed.
- Pour in a casserole dish.
- Mix breadcrumbs and remaining spices. Top the casserole and drizzle with olive oil.
- Broil for a couple of minutes until breadcrumbs are browned.
** A couple of things to remember with lamb’s quarter (or any wild edible): Make sure you harvest from soil that you are sure is not contaminated. If you already plant in your yard, then that is the best spot. Or your neighbor’s yard, if they already plant. Also, don’t be discouraged by the white film that usually coats lamb’s quarter leaves in the wild; it easily washes off!