Once the monsoon season kicks into high gear in Tucson, my backyard overflows with weeds. It can be hard to know what to get rid of and what is edible. I've learned over the years that the purslane that is so abundant in my yard this time of year is delicious and versatile. Also called verdogalas or pigweed, its little succulent leaves pack a nutritious punch. Let's take a closer look and see what we can do with this weed that is more than just a weed.
There is a whole lot of confusion about this particular plant, including how it is pronounced. Endive has two pronunciations, 'N-dive' vs 'ON-deev'. Both are correct, however they refer to slightly different incarnations of this plant. Endive pronounced 'On-deev' is the plant pictured above - torpedo shaped - and often called Belgian Endive. Endive pronounced 'N-dive' is wilder looking, with curled leaves. Escarole and Frisee are two other varieties in this species of chicory. All of these varieties have similarities - they are all bitter tasting leafy greens and they all can be enjoyed raw or cooked.
This week's CSA share contained a lot of familiar vegetables. This is the time for creativity to kick in so that those seasonal veggies don't get boring. In order to create a new dish, I decided to just use the greens - Swiss Chard, Red Russian Kale, Beet Greens, Kohlrabi Greens and Turnip Greens. This recipe would be great with any cooking green - kale, chard, collard, spinach, sorrel, mustard, broccoli raab, bok choy, etc.
Put down the weed killer and pick up your fork! Dandelion greens aren’t just a lawn annoyance, they are an incredibly healthy and nutrient rich addition to your diet.
Since the flavor of dandelion is very strong and its effects powerful, just adding a few leaves to your salads is a great way to start to incorporate it into your diet. If you juice regularly, adding a few leaves to your green juice is another great way to consume dandelion greens.
Dandelion has great detoxifying effects on the liver and kidneys. Just in time for ‘spring cleaning’, dandelion arrives like a weed to assist you.
Food lover, organic enthusiast, amateur gardener, cook, veg-evangelist.
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