Week of January 6, 2015 - New Year Salad

Tuesday, January 06, 2015 1:33 PM | Anonymous

New Year Salad

Until the snow falls, there are greens for salad, no matter how cold. Look for these super hardy plants all winter. . . for food, for medicine, for a smile in your heart.

Wild Madder (Gallium mollugo)
Pinch the tender tops of this little plant all winter for salad greens. You only get a half a bite per plant, but thankfully there is lots and lots of it, so it adds up as a nice addition to the tougher greens. Also known as bedstraw.

Plantain (Plantago majus)
Truthfully, I am more likely to use scarce winter plantain as a medicine than as a food, but I did put a little in the New Year Salad, because I think it tastes like a warm fire on a cold day. Pick only one leaf per plant. And cut across the veins when preparing the leaves as food.

Wild Carrot tops (Daucus carota)
Also known, when flowering, as Queen Anne’s lace, these leaves really are wild carrot. Under the ground is a sweet root. The leaves are very rich in potassium and other minerals. Like wild madder, wild carrot tops are one of the less tough winter salad greens. I pick no more than two leaves per plant and strip the little leaflets off the main stalk, which is too fibrous to be eaten with relish.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis)
Has dandelion been on our walk every month of the past year? Yeah. That’s why dandelion is “the most generous plant.” A few of these leaves in our salad will do very nicely. The colder it gets, the better the dandelions taste, to me. Good food and good medicine.

~ New Year Salad, Contd. ~

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