Wild Greens Are Super

Did you know that the humble weed is really more of a super food?  The idea’s really catching on and is unlikely to be a passing fad.

Scarce food resources will no doubt encourage more research into the nutritional value of these “plants of the field”, popularised in certain circles over two thousand years ago. Wild greens now figure prominently at growers’ markets as well as being sought out by top restaurants, the most famous of which is Noma, the Danish restaurant run by weed enthusiast, Rene Redzepi.  Not surprisingly Redzepi spent his childhood foraging in Greece, home of the wild green pie.

The Sydney Morning Herald recently ran a story on Steven Adey who grows wild greens for the Sydney restaurant market. Sought after wild greens include samphire and yarrow.  Hatted chef, Kylie Kwong, goes for purslane as do any number of savvy home gardeners who find this green will colonize happily in their backyard.  These savvies may not know it but they are enjoying a fresh, free food which is high in omega-3 fatty acids as well as the usual benefits derived from dark leafy greens, which include folic acid, calcium, potassium and especially magnesium, which is deficient in most western diets.  Want to know if you might be deficiency and why magnesium deficiency and longevity don’t go together?  Take a look at this article on Magnesium Deficiency.

Wild greens are much more these days than a garnish.  Pick them  young, and do please make sure you can correctly identify what you pick.  Mix them into stir-fries, or create a wonderful “mesclun” salad, maybe with a few edible flowers as well.  As Steven Adey suggests, “to make a nice wild salad is really a delicate thing”.  Read this article, Farmer Cultivates a Relationship with Weeds.

A truly excellent resource for lovers of wild greens and cookbook collectors is Paula Wolfert’s Mediterranean Grains and Greens.  Think Autumn Horta with Edible Chrysanthemum, Vinegar and Olive Oil or Tender Greens with Sheep’s Milk Cheese.

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