30 May 2008

Weeds, Weeds, Glorious Weeds

NOTHING is so beautiful as spring—
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;



I really don’t know how this happened. One moment, I’m skimming through the local on-line newspaper, shortly thereafter, I’m thinking about eating weeds.

The local paper has a gardening column, which was about garlic mustard this week. Garlic mustard is a common weed – you may well have some lurking about in your yard. It makes a tallish, tapering plant with white flowers, and it comes up pretty easily – not like that scoundrel goutweed.

Well. It turns out that the Brooklyn Botanical Garden says that garlic mustard is edible, and offers up a recipe for pesto. I don’t really think I’m going to be making that anytime soon, but one thing led to another, and I discovered that the heinous goutweed is also edible. Who knew? In short order, I found a recipe for goutweed soup, and a whole section of Wildman Steve Brill’s book includes recipes using goutweed (though they’re a little suspect, like garlic “butter” with no butter in sight and “hollandaise” made with tofu and lecithin). I’m not even touching on the “medicinal” uses for goutweed, but do note that the name includes “gout”.

So tell me, those of you overrun with goutweed and/or garlic mustard, would you eat it?

25 comments:

Janet said...

It's a moot point because, after Sin told me what I posted on my blog was garlic mustard, I pulled it all out. Still. I don't think I would eat it. Or goutweed.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I don't think I have either of those in my yard. I have plenty of dandelions, but I don't eat those. I do give them to the guinea pig!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I don't about that, but I do love me some sourgrass.

MotherPie said...

Dandelions were brought here by the French as vegetables. We should all enrich our gardens and ourselves with these edibles!!! Thanks for the info and also the recipe links... But don't have this in Santa Fe...

Eva said...

I don't think I've seen those, but if we did have them I wouldn't rule eating them out.

cactus petunia said...

Ooh. Goutweed. It's actually quite beautiful, and I can say very drought tolerant (I never water it and it flourishes in deep shade) but because it's in deep shade and never watered, it's never gotten out of control. On the other hand, I can tell you: NEVER, EVER plant horseradish. I never water that either, and I've been systematically trying to eradicate it organically for 17 years now, to no effect. I just can't eat that much horseradish!

Mental P Mama said...

Goutweed and bittersweet. They are driving me bonkers this spring.

Minnesota Matron said...

You bet. I'd just be sure to wash 'em off real well.

BipolarLawyerCook said...

Purslane and dandelions, for sure.

Angeline said...

Ooooohhhh I love dandelions...they make me smile, unknowingly....

Janet said...

Sure, why not! Have you ever tried fiddlehead ferns? Yum!

womaninawindow said...

Oh Ya, Janet, You got the Hunny! Fiddleheads rock! We were just driving along a country road today talking about frying them up in butter. Ya, my husband and I are so naughty!

katiez said...

I wonder if I could convince someone that my weeds were edible if, magically, they would all be pulled....
Nah, doubt it.
I do have a few edible ones, though... Maybe I should do more research.

Don Mills Diva said...

Garlic mustard actually sounds amazing - goutweed not so much...I think I'd take a pass on that...

Julia said...

My yard is overrun with something, but I don't think it's either of these two. You are welcome to come and check anytime, though...

Bill Braine said...

Our local organic farm sells dandelions and purslane for a boatload of money. I'm sure they're just not realizing that rubes from the city would buy miner's lettuce and garlic mustard for the same $5/lb.

Anyway, I've eaten purslane pulled from between the cracks in my patio, so I don't see why I shouldn't eat garlic mustard, which I will do tomorrow.

MamaGeek said...

I'd wash and eat.

niobe said...

mmmm......goutweed.

Julie Pippert said...

I very well might. Either just to try it, be able to say I did, or if I had a need. You never know. I have been known to take "edible" hikes with a botanist before. I find most wild things bitter. Is that ironic?

Mad said...

Never. That would be like shaking hands with the devil.

Victoria said...

Um, no. No, thank you.

Aunt Becky said...

I have some growing in my backyard and no, I wouldn't eat it. Then again, I'm not very adventuresome.

Bon said...

i will admit, i'm curious about the goutweed, since we have so much of it. but...i'd far rather restaurants started sending by a weekly "collection team" to weed for me... :)

RuthWells said...

Our property abuts a woods which is OVERRUN with garlic mustard. Not only would I NOT eat it (not with a fox, not in a box), I pull out the seedlings that manage to waft over onto my neighbors' lawns. The stuff is evil.

(New reader -- I just blogrolled you!)

Meg said...

Thanks for your comment over on Gastronomeg... and I loved this post. My mother has been waging a years-long battle with goutweed. It might make her happy to know that she can eat some... or maybe not! I will have to investigate it more.