Introduction: False Spinach - Cooking With the Weeds in Your Garden
Every spring, before we have our vegetables growing in the field, me and my mom cook from the weeds in our garden.
Did you know that most of the unwanted weeds are, in fact, herbs with special properties? Well, they are and this knowledge comes especially handy now, when it's convenient to stay at home as much as you can. If you know how to use the weeds in your garden for cooking, you can avoid quite a few trips to the grocery store.
We call this meal "fakse spinach" because it looks like spinach, tastes very similar, we prepare it the same way we do the spinach and it gives you a big dose of iron just as spinach does!
Serves 1 - 2:
- 150 g of young nettles
- 4-5 pieces of lamium
- a handful of ground-ivy
- a handful of dandelion greens
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 flat tsp of all-purpose flour
- 1-2 eggs
Step 1: About the Herbs
One thing goes for all the herbs and weeds - always pick them in a clean place! Never use any herb picked a at the road or in any polluted environment.
Always pick young nettles, preferably when they're still small. You shouldn't use nettles older than 1 month because the older the nettle the more nitrates it contains. My nettles were already close to 1 month and already a little too old for my taste.
The nettle is one of those super-herbs and a wide-spectrum remedy. It can be a nice immunity booster in spring and it contains iron.
The lamium is mostly used in dried form and especially the petals, they are a very good cold-remedy. When cooked it has a nice taste, that's why I like to add it.
Wow, this herb has loads of funny common names, check out Wikipedia! The ground-ivy has been used for generations for kidney cleaning.
The greens are absolutely delicious in salads when they're very young (before the buds of the flowers appear). When you pick them older (like I do for this dish), they are a bit more tough and not so pleasant to eat raw anymore. They too contain a lot of iron!
Step 2: Cooking
1. Rinse the herbs and place them in a pot with lid.
2. Fill the pot with water, add a little salt and cover with a lid. Boil for 10 minutes.
3. Save some of the water from the herbs for later, pour the rest away.
4. Place the softened herbs on the counter and chop them finely.
5. Heat the olive oil on a pan a little, add the flour and stir well.
6. Add the weeds and fry them over low heat for about five minutes.
7. Switch off the stove, press the garlic and mix it in.
8. Add salt to taste.
9. Serve with hardboiled egg(s).
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