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Edible weeds
ongoing

Posted on 02/14/2009 10:03:07 AM PST by djf

I have decided to start a thread focusing on edible weeds. Many of the common plants we see everyday are edible, and while most are not hugely palatable or nutritious, a few are truly very good.

If you would like to post a recipe, please post recipes related to these plants only.

As always, an extreme amount of caution is advised. It's probably true that 90 percent or so of plants are actually edible, there is a small percentage that if you eat them, you WON'T have to worry about eating again!

Oleander comes to mind, it would take less than two leaves to kill an average person.

So be careful.


TOPICS: Food; Gardening; Outdoors
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1 posted on 02/14/2009 10:03:07 AM PST by djf
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To: djf
Dandelions taste great and grow everywhere.
2 posted on 02/14/2009 10:04:14 AM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: djf
Dandelions

The premier star of the edible plant world. IIRC, not native to North America, but originally imported as a food crop.



Young leaves are good in salads, older ones can be used in soups. Like older lettuce, they tend to get bitter as it gets bigger.
3 posted on 02/14/2009 10:05:52 AM PST by djf
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To: djf

Polk Salad must be washed and cooked, washed and cooked, washed and cooked at least three times before it is edible as a green (like turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens)

POKE SALAD

2 pounds freshly picked, young poke salad leaves (or other greens such as dale, turnip or collard)
1/2 pound thick-sliced bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
Hot sauce
Hard-cooked egg, optional

Wash the poke leaves well. Parboil the leaves and stems twice in a medium saucepan, pouring off the water each time after parboiling. Boil a third time in clean water for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Rinse and drain well.
Fry the bacon and remove from the pan. Add the onion and the greens and cook in the bacon dripping about 15-20 minutes or until tender. Add the hot sauce to taste, and serve topped with the bacon and a sliced hard-cooked egg, if desired.

Let me know if you need pictures. I’ll try to find some now.


4 posted on 02/14/2009 10:06:13 AM PST by autumnraine (Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose- Kris Kristopherson)
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To: djf

Yup, Oleander, when Jo-anne’s future husband picked oleander
for her wedding bouquet, you knew the marriage was DOOMED!

Like Sand through an hourglass bump.


5 posted on 02/14/2009 10:07:25 AM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: djf
Poke Salad (Sallet)

Photobucket

6 posted on 02/14/2009 10:07:28 AM PST by autumnraine (Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose- Kris Kristopherson)
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To: djf

POLK SALAD ANNIE
Tony Joe White
(words & music by Tony Joe White)

(Recitation)

If some of ya’ll never been down South too much...
I’m gonna tell you a little bit about this, so that you’ll understand
What I’m talking about
Down there we have a plant that grows out in the
woods and the fields,
looks somethin’ like a turnip green.
Everybody calls it Polk salad. Polk salad.
Used to know a girl that lived down there and
she’d go out in the evenings and pick a mess of it...
Carry it home and cook it for supper, ‘cause that’s about all they had to eat,
But they did all right.

Down in Louisiana Where the alligators grow so mean
There lived a girl that I swear to the world Made the alligators look tame

Polk salad Annie polk salad Annie
Everybody said it was a shame
Cause her mama was working on the chain-gang
(a mean, vicious woman)

Everyday ‘fore supper time She’d go down by the truck patch
And pick her a mess o’ Polk salad And carry it home in a tote sack

Polk salad Annie ‘Gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
‘Cause her mama was aworkin’ on the chain-gang
(a wretched, spiteful, straight-razor totin’ woman,
Lord have mercy. Pick a mess of it)

Her daddy was lazy and no count
Claimed he had a bad back
All her brothers were fit for was stealin’ watermelons out of my truck patch
Polk salad Annie, the gators got your granny
Everybody said it was a shame
Cause her mama was a working’ on the chain gang
(Sock a little polk salad to me, you know I need a mess of it)


7 posted on 02/14/2009 10:08:41 AM PST by Huntress (Proud owner of Norman/Norma, the transsexual attack cat.)
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To: djf

Jerusalem artichokes were a favorite when I was a young ‘un.


8 posted on 02/14/2009 10:09:14 AM PST by CH3CN
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To: djf
Common plantain

Here in the pacific northwest, this plant grows everywhere, and I have eaten it often. Young leaves are best, they have a slightly meaty flavor to them. Note that in the older leaves, there are these sorts of stringers like in celery.


9 posted on 02/14/2009 10:10:01 AM PST by djf
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To: 2banana

My backyard is full of dandelions and other various weeds—please come by and have a field day!!! ;-)


10 posted on 02/14/2009 10:10:55 AM PST by pillut48 (CJ in TX --"God help us all, and God help America!!" --my new mantra for the next 4 years)
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To: autumnraine

My mother cooked some poke salad once. It stank up the whole house. To this day I don’t know what poke tastes like, as I refused to eat anything that smelled that bad.


11 posted on 02/14/2009 10:11:19 AM PST by Huntress (Proud owner of Norman/Norma, the transsexual attack cat.)
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To: djf
As an entomologist, I can only comment on the bugs you may find on the weeds.

Do not eat anything that is yellow, red or black.

Most green bugs are ok because they are green because of just eating plant material. The white stuff inside the bugs is either fat or eggs.

Stay away from the legs and wings as they can make a log jam in your intestines.

Remember, you do not have a chitinase, which is the enzyme required to break down the outer shell chitin. Some diet stuff has chitin in it as it will not break down inside a human.

I'm sticking with chocolate and Dr. Thunder.

12 posted on 02/14/2009 10:12:29 AM PST by Battle Axe (Repent for the coming of the Lord is nigh!)
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To: Huntress

That’s like turtle. You really have to cook turtle outdoors. Oh. My. God. Worse smell ever in the world.


13 posted on 02/14/2009 10:13:04 AM PST by autumnraine (Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose- Kris Kristopherson)
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To: djf
Bittercress

I have only recently discovered this was edible. It grows all over around here, and I always weeded it out of my garden. Now that I find it's a good thing, it will probably stop growing! Member of the mustard family.


14 posted on 02/14/2009 10:13:21 AM PST by djf
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To: autumnraine

Ahhhh, my grandmother would take us all out to pick poke greens when we were little. Thanks for the memories.


15 posted on 02/14/2009 10:15:14 AM PST by HelloooClareece ("We make war that we may live in peace". Aristotle)
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To: djf
Cattails

Never tried these. Young shoots are edible. Roots can also be sliced and stewed like water chestnuts.


16 posted on 02/14/2009 10:17:08 AM PST by djf
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To: djf

When I was young I worked for a farmer who made wine from Dandelions. No sense just concentrating on salads.


17 posted on 02/14/2009 10:17:33 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: djf
Loma Linda University in California has an extension class in grazing. The last meeting of the class is a field trip into a field to gather your dinner. It is a Seventh day Adventist college so their Horticulture program is a health focus.
18 posted on 02/14/2009 10:17:46 AM PST by ThomasThomas ( Accept it, there is no except after in math.)
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To: Battle Axe
As an entomologist, I can only comment on the bugs you may find on the weeds.

So what you are warning me about is that when I'm on my hands and knees in the garden this summer, don't eat ALL the bugs i come across but be selective..........good advice, thanks. LOL!

19 posted on 02/14/2009 10:18:41 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (Welcome to Detroit, the Renaissance city......)
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To: HelloooClareece

Yeah, mine too. And my husband is a big believer in living off the land, so I had to crank up the memories to make it for him. But he’s a good provider too and nights when he brings home a mess of catfish from our pond, and I’ve gotten some tomatoes out of the garden, made poke greens from the yard and homemade biscuits... well, we feel all is right in the world. Does that make any sense?


20 posted on 02/14/2009 10:20:07 AM PST by autumnraine (Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose- Kris Kristopherson)
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To: djf
All modern salad greens are domesticated from weeds so you don't have to scavenge your yard for low grade food anymore. Just till up your backyard, cast a variety of garden seeds and have a year round salad patch.
21 posted on 02/14/2009 10:20:27 AM PST by shuckmaster (An oak tree is an acorns way of making more acorns.)
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To: Hot Tabasco

...and I probably shouldn’t use salt on any slugs I find.


22 posted on 02/14/2009 10:20:28 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (Welcome to Detroit, the Renaissance city......)
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To: djf
Nettles

There are few plants that I personally react to. Heck, when I was a kid, we used to practically roll around in the poison ivy. But this one - this one is from Hades, as far as I'm concerned! But it grows widely, (esp along my back fence), and is considered edible, you just have to cook it long enough to take the sting out.


23 posted on 02/14/2009 10:23:11 AM PST by djf
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To: djf

Purslane:

“Purslane just happens to contain alpha-linolenic acid, one of the highly sought-after Omega-3 fatty acids. Why pay money for fish oil when you can grow your own Omega-3 fatty acids as part of your edible landscaping? Especially when it takes little effort to grow purslane, since it does grow like a weed.”

http://landscaping.about.com/cs/weedsdiseases/a/purslane.htm

Cucumber-purslane-yogurt salad

5 large Cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into quarter-round slices
1/4 pound Purslane, large stems removed, washed and drained well
2 tablespoons each, Fresh chopped mint, cilantro and chervil
4 cups Whole milk yogurt
1/4 cup Virgin olive oil
3 cloves Garlic, puréed with the blade of a knife
2 teaspoon ground Coriander
kosher Salt and ground Black Pepper

Place the cucumber, purslane and herbs into a large bowl. In another bowl, stir together the yogurt, olive oil and garlic, coriander and season to taste with salt. Add the yogurt mixture to the vegetables and mix well. Add a pinch of ground black pepper. Taste the dressed cucumber-purslane salad for seasoning, adding a little more salt if needed. Serve chilled.


24 posted on 02/14/2009 10:25:12 AM PST by LucyJo
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To: djf
One weed we have here in South Alabama is Florida Betony or Rattlesnake weed. It has long tubers shaped like rattlesnake rattles and these tubers are edible and can get quite big.

Leaves look like this:


25 posted on 02/14/2009 10:26:00 AM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: djf

I read somewhere that early settlers used cattails as candles too.


26 posted on 02/14/2009 10:26:09 AM PST by LucyJo
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To: autumnraine

Ever smelled chittlins cooking?


27 posted on 02/14/2009 10:26:39 AM PST by Mmogamer (<This space for lease>)
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To: djf

I’ve actually read of an oleander soup that is to help cure cancer. Must be about as dangerous as chemotherapy.


28 posted on 02/14/2009 10:26:43 AM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma (When the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule the people mourn. Proverbs 29;2)
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To: djf

Hey, you know those cattails fluff can be used as a pillow stuffing and it is supposed to take asthma away.

Haven’t tried it though.


29 posted on 02/14/2009 10:28:22 AM PST by autumnraine (Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose- Kris Kristopherson)
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To: Blue Highway

pihng


30 posted on 02/14/2009 10:28:59 AM PST by Blue Highway
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To: Mmogamer

Ok, I change my story, turtle is the SECOND worse thing I have ever smelled cooking.


31 posted on 02/14/2009 10:28:59 AM PST by autumnraine (Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose- Kris Kristopherson)
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To: djf
Queen Anne's Lace

Yur basic wild carrot.


32 posted on 02/14/2009 10:29:50 AM PST by djf
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To: djf

Most of the weeds in Southern California are edible. There is an outfit there that will take you on a wild food outing, the climax of the trip is a salad made from weeds. I think this is the proper web link: http://www.christophernyerges.com/index.htm

You do have to be very careful, do not ever eat anything unless someone who knows says it is okay. Certain plants, like ones from the mustard family can be identified by the number of petals. The mushroom societies are good sources of information.

I had a dog that would eat/chew on orange mushrooms from our forest. I asked a local mushroom guide about it, and he said to keep the dog away from them. But I think the dog had his own instincts which he operated safely from. Cows are known to avoid poisonous plants as well.


33 posted on 02/14/2009 10:30:53 AM PST by blackpacific
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To: Alas Babylon!

Thanks! Never saw it before, probably never grows in my neck of the woods.


34 posted on 02/14/2009 10:31:25 AM PST by djf
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To: djf

Burdock - cultivated as a vegetable in Japan where it is known as gobo. The stalks are scraped and cooked like celery. The roots can be eaten raw in salads or added to stir fries.

Kudzu - AKA Japanese arrowroot. It is a prolific weed in south Florida. A starch can be made from its roots. This starch can be used to thicken sauces and gravies as you would use cornstarch. The leaves can be battered and fried.


35 posted on 02/14/2009 10:33:08 AM PST by LucyJo
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To: djf

Ive had them - young shoots at the base - peeled - either raw or battered and deep fried - pretty good...Ive enjoyed puffball mushrooms as well - pretty simple identification - not that common though...havent had watercress though it is somewhat common up here...but have also had dandelions, nasturtium flowers (they are peppery and look good in salad)


36 posted on 02/14/2009 10:33:11 AM PST by PfluegerFishin
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To: djf

"Yucca" flower, or "chocha" is delicious. The flower petals only are eaten. The stems and internal flower parts are bitter.

They are good lightly sauteed and served with scrambled eggs, or...

Costlla de puerco con chocha.

In a pot put pork ribs, garlic, and onion, with a little salt to taste, some cumin, and chili powder for the brave. Cook until the pork is tender, then add the chocha flowers.

Serve with rolls or crusty bread. Really yummy authentic Mexican food.

37 posted on 02/14/2009 10:33:50 AM PST by Bertram3
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To: Battle Axe

>As an entomologist, I can only comment on the bugs you may find on the weeds.
Do not eat anything that is yellow, red or black.

Most green bugs are ok because they are green because of just eating plant material. The white stuff inside the bugs is either fat or eggs.<

Oh, great, just great. Now I have a childhood song stuck in my head:

“Johnny ate a sponge cake with a green worm on top
A green worm, a fuzzy worm
A great big fat juicy worm!

Johnny ate a sponge cake with a green worm on top!”


38 posted on 02/14/2009 10:33:56 AM PST by Darnright (A penny saved is a government oversight)
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To: djf

watch out for cows parsnip though - youll get wicked blisters


39 posted on 02/14/2009 10:33:59 AM PST by PfluegerFishin
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To: blackpacific

I would never eat a wild mushroom. Not ever. Here in the Pacific Northwest, there is quite a bunch of folks who do collect them. They even sometimes end up shooting at each other over some of the more exotic kinds!

But every year you hear about somebodies liver getting turned to goo.


40 posted on 02/14/2009 10:34:00 AM PST by djf
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To: djf

Edible Weed Salad

3 cups mixed greens such as lettuce, spinach, kale, Swiss chard.
1 cup mixed weeds such as:
-dandelion leaves
-chicory leaves and flowers
-chickweed leaves and flowers
-lamb’s quarters leaves
-purslane stems and leaves
-shepherd’s purse leaves

Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl along with olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and a few to many crushed garlic cloves depending upon your personal preference. Make sure you use the young, tender leaves of any weeds you will be adding to your salads and other culinary creations. Older leaves tend to turn bitter, tough, and stringy.


41 posted on 02/14/2009 10:34:40 AM PST by LucyJo
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To: Alas Babylon!

We’ve got enough Kudzu here to feed the world! I saw a PBS special that showed people deep frying the leaves and making tea. Pretty cool show.


42 posted on 02/14/2009 10:34:49 AM PST by RushIsMyTeddyBear (Obama dozed.....people froze.)
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To: djf
Fiddlehead ferns, a delicacy up here in New England for a brief time in the spring.


43 posted on 02/14/2009 10:35:56 AM PST by LibFreeOrDie (Obama promised a gold mine, but he will give us the shaft.)
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To: djf

Caffeine Free Coffee Substitutes

The roots of both chicory and dandelion can also be used as a caffeine free coffee substitute or coffee additive. Harvest the roots, wash well to remove dirt then cut them into small, thin slices. Place these slices on a cookie sheet on the lowest setting in your oven until they are dry or use a food dehydrator if you own one. If you are using the roots for medicinal purposes once the roots have been dried and have cooled down to room temperature they can be placed in dark glass containers and stored away from direct sunlight.

If you are using the roots as a coffee substitute the dried roots must be oven roasted at approximately 250 degrees for 30-40 minutes so that they obtain a coffee-like appearance and taste. The oven roasted root pieces can then be ground up in a blender or coffee grinder then made into coffee using your favorite method of brewing (i.e. drip coffee maker, French press, etc...) You may also make a coffee blend by mixing around 50% coffee beans with either 50% roasted chicory or roasted dandelion roots.


44 posted on 02/14/2009 10:38:24 AM PST by LucyJo
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To: djf
Wild (prickly) lettuce

Here near Seattle there are like three kinds of wild lettuce. They are, like their garden cousins, one of the earliest plants to emerge in the spring. Leaves and shoots. As with many of the latex bearing plants, they get bitter as they get older.


45 posted on 02/14/2009 10:39:44 AM PST by djf
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To: djf

My mom wilted those with a lighter and put them on our bee stings.


46 posted on 02/14/2009 10:41:55 AM PST by goodwithagun (My gun has killed less people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: LucyJo
Thanks! Needs a pic..

Chicory and it's lovely blue flowers


47 posted on 02/14/2009 10:42:18 AM PST by djf
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To: djf

It is amazing. We conservatives are cutting back and exhibiting self-reliance. Libs are screaming for gubmint handouts.


48 posted on 02/14/2009 10:43:41 AM PST by goodwithagun (My gun has killed less people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: goodwithagun

It is known to have good effects on the skin, much like aloe.


49 posted on 02/14/2009 10:44:04 AM PST by djf
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To: CH3CN

An elderly neighbor grew Jerusalem artichokes in her yard and shared them with me. They are delicious.


50 posted on 02/14/2009 10:45:25 AM PST by LucyJo
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