I've been on a salad kick lately. In the winter months it's all hearty soups and bread, but when the weather warms, you know how it is, you crave food that is fresh and light. I had noticed some plants in the yard that I was pretty certain were lambsquarters (or lamb's quarters or goosefoot...some people call this pig weed too, a name assigned to several weeds...let's just call them chenopodium), and knew them to be edible.
I compared them to my field guides and checked them on Wildman Steve Brill's website, and it seemed I did indeed have myself some chenopodium. You can see by the shape of the leaves why it's also called goosefoot.
The youngest leaves have a waxy powder on them that is easily wiped off, and the plant has no discernible scent when crushed. Epazote, a look-alike, smells resinous.
Chances are, you've seen these because they seem to grow everywhere...even in my potted plants. (by the way, those are the onions I re-grew a few months ago)
As for taste, they're really good! They're mild and green and perfect in salads. You can use them like spinach either fresh or cooked. I like them well enough that I added a row of them to my garden. Adding weeds to my garden? Of course! Any nutritious and free wild edible as tasty as this can hang out in my garden. Even though there isn't exactly a shortage of it in my yard...
When I pick, I take a few younger leaves from this plant then that plant...never pick all the leaves from only one plant if you want to keep them growing in your yard.
We were in the mood for a sweeter salad last night so we tossed our chenopodium with some lettuce from our greenhouse, a handful of wood sorrel, wild rose petals, one whole apple, a handful of nuts, and dried cherries. Delish.
Have any of you tried chenopodium? If you haven't, do you think you will? It's amazing to me just how many "weeds" out there are so useful once one starts to identify them.
p.s. We gather only wild plants that we can positively identify and only from areas that we trust to be free of pesticides, run-off, and other ickiness. The occasional bug or clod of dirt is okay with us, but chemicals are not. blech.