Weeds You Can Eat

takadi recently discovered the green purslane growing as a weed in his yard. “I just went out and picked off a stem from one and popped it in my mouth,” says takadi. “Peppery and slightly sweet, with a slight okra-goo finish. Yum.” Purslane is a common ingredient in Mexican stews, says Leucadian, who adds that it is called verdolagas in Spanish. Another use in Mexican cuisine, says Aromatherapy, is to dress lightly boiled purslane with lemon juice, salt, and diced jalapeños.

Many Chowhounds like the delicate new leaves of dandelions, either raw or cooked like other greens. soypower’s mom and her church friends like dandelion roots, rather than the leaves. “My mom says the roots are much tastier and less bitter than the leaves and are supposed to be very nutritious. She dips them in a spicy Korean sauce (chogochujang) and eats them raw with rice.” The leaves are also tasty stewed in soy sauce and garlic.

Several weeds are commonly known as sour grass, including sheep sorrel and yellow wood sorrel. These can be delicious in small amounts, but avoid eating them in large quantities, warns Ruth Lafler, as too much oxalic acid, the chemical that makes sour grass sour, can be poisonous.

torty recommends exploring local groups that might give a walking tour class to help people identify wild edibles. “Trying to match greens from pics on the net can be iffy,” says torty. “Hands on demonstration is so much better.”

Board Link: Edible weeds

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