Thursday, May 15, 2014

Nettles, Lambs Quarteres, Dandelions and Lemon Balm

Spring is here!  And now we have several greens on the Wild Side to harvest.  The lowly dandelion is great when harvested before the flowers appear.  I have been separating and drying the roots for Ken's blend of dried root tea.  And I found a good recipe for the greens.  I cook pasta and add toss with the rinsed, chopped dandelion greens, add some chopped preserved red peppers and grated cheese or a cream or cream cheese sauce or cooked diced bacon.  The heat mellows the dandelion greens but the lack of cooking seems to preserve the nutritional value.

Lambs quarters are an indicator of good soil and rich in vitamins and minerals.  I add them to salads, pasta salads, soups and braising mixes.  It is a mild greens and so versatile.

Nettles are high in protein and vitamins. They are also called stinging nettles because some people get an itchy sensation after handing them.  An alternative practitioner once told Ken exposure to nettles would reduce gout and arthritis.  Once cooked they lose their itch. I add them to soups and braising mixes.  Ken dries them and we add them to tea and soup in winter for some green energy!

Lemon or Melissa balm is a lemony member of the mint family.  I add lemon balm where I would like some lemon flavor - salad dressing for example.  I dry most of our lemon balm for a relaxing tea blend.  Unlike chamomile which produces an allergic reaction in some people, lemon balm seems pretty benign.  You can order  these spring treats from us at

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