Week of July 22, 2014 - Weed walk: Amaranth, lambs quarters and Mallow

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 5:45 PM | Anonymous

Weed Walk
Here are some summer greens, ready to harvest right now.  And a few colorful characters for your salads, too. Plus one poisonous, but very medicinal plant, often found growing in flower borders under its new name Actea racemosa.

Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium album)
This green is good all season. Pick it when young, pick it when it is flowering, pick it when it is full of seeds. Whenever you pick it, pick the leaves off the stalks, for they are too tough to cook. Sure, it takes some work to pick the leaves off. It took two of us about 45 minutes to make a 2 pound bag a lamb’s quarter leaves ready to eat. Great nutrition for little effort.

Amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus)
This green is only good before it flowers. But you don’t have to pick the leaves off the stalk, as the stalk is tender and cooks up well. Look for young plants, like this one, with no flower buds. If there are some flower buds starting up, pluck them out. Once flowering gets serious, there will be too many flower buds to easily remove. At that point, I just let it flower and  plan on harvesting the seeds in the fall.

Mallow (Malva neglecta)
I don’t usually cook this green, as it gets all slimy and reminds me of a childhood of okra loathing. Both the leaves and the flowers are delightful in salads, as are all its sisters and cousins that grow around me: Rose of Sharon, hibiscus, and musk mallow (Malva moschata). The roots of the mallow are the part used as medicine; but that will have to wait until after frost.

~ Weed Walk, contd. ~

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