Ward House


The garden looks great and the goodies just keep growing and coming in. Radishes, though the greens look good, are a bit challenged and I know it is due to operator error. The ‘fruit’s are tough and woody assuming they are even of uniform shape.

The other day Renee, over at FIMBY asked about plantain and how I fixed it so this seems like a good time to share what I throw into a salad. There is the standard leaf lettuce from garden with the following inclusions:

  • radish greens – lends a peppery taste
  • plantain – only the young leaves
  • wood sorrell – notice the difference in the leaves from clover. Sorrell leaves are heart shaped. –>
  • lambsquarters
  • mallow – not so much now as I am not fond of the minty, weedy kind of taste.

The pictures of the clover-sorrel is kind of blurred but I think you can still see the difference between the two.

As for young plantain, below is a picture of about the size I use in salads.

Wash, shake dry (we do not own a salad spinner), toss with your fav dressing, add additional goodies (for us, dried cranberries and black walnuts) and enjoy!

Why would I include all these extra greens to a salad? An excellent question! Let us start with the radish greens. While low in calories and dietary fiber, they pack a punch in the Vitamin C, folate and potassium and are known to relieve indigestion and flatulence. I did not know that these contain salicyclates, which is a similar compound to aspirin, so if you are sensitive to aspirin, becareful with these greens (info found here). I am not a doctor or nutritionist, so do not take my ramblings as medical advise. Radish green recipes can be found numerous places online, I like the ones found here.

Plantain: another amazing weed, high in Vitamin A, Calcium and ascorbic acid. Great for bee stings, bug bites, bruises, etc. Some great info here.

Wood Sorrell: has a nice lemony tart flavor. Not recommended in high quantities because of the oxalic acid is said to interfere with digestion. I include just a few small leaves for the lemony taste.

Lambs quarters:This plant I have already talked about here.

Mallow, common: A picture of this can be found in the Lambs quarters link. Acording to Neil Goldstein over at Slashfood,

Mallow leaves are high in calcium and iron, and freeze well. Boil the leaves until wilted, drain, and freeze in large zip lock bags for later use. They have a thickening effect when added to soup (also showing the okra relation). The flowers are also edible, although they don’t add much flavor, they are great for appearance. Both the flowers and the cheeses would make any salad look interesting.

Now on to some herb garden planning stuff. For awhile now I have brainstormed about where to set an herb garden. It needed to have a southern exposure so the rosemary would be able to winter over. Last night, as I was weeding by the raspberries, I found the place. Right now I need to dig out the burdock and till; however, it has the southern exposure requirement and will look nice for the neighbors. My only question now is how to protect this area, in the winter, from the driving snow, etc. This same southern exposure is also where the wind and rain blow up the valley. Any suggestions?


June 9, 2009 - Posted by | Cooking, Gardening, recipes

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