5 Weeds I Love To Eat


Foraging, urban exploration, finding surplus in local parks or growing at the base of your neighbors tree, are all options for eating a meal that is far left of the mainstream. However finding these ingredients might mean you need to pick up a few un-city-like tools, like say, a shovel. Don’t want to buy a shovel? No problem. In most cities you can find these formerly frowned upon weeds at your local farmer’s markets.

To get you started on your path to edible enlightenment, here is a list of 5 weeds that can replace those boring standbys: kale, spinach and arugula.

1.  Dandelion Greens: From the French dent de lion, meaning “lion’s tooth,” the word dandelion refers to the jagged, tooth-like shape of the leaves. While the leaves can be bitter, they are a perfect addition to a salad, or sautéed as a side dish. In the markets you’ll most likely find just the greens––less bitter than if you pull them from the ground––but if you decide to forage them yourself you’ll be able to get the crown as well, which you can cook separately, and surprise first-time tasters with a buttery-soft treat. Another great reason to get dandelions in your diet? Health benefits. According to herbwisdom.com, the root is already used in many patented medicines.

Make Chris Cosentino’s Braised Dandelion Greens

2.  Amaranth: This small leafy green––sometimes called pigweed––also produces a wonderful seed we wrote about here. A summer weed, it is another perfect salad ingredient. In the wild, the leafy plant usually has a red stem and green bushy leaves, but the cultivated versions tend to be all one color—either green or red. The top leaves of any wild plant will be the youngest and most flavorful, so you may want to avoid the lower ones. But give it a nibble and decide for yourself.

This piece was originally published for Food & Wine Magazine. You can read the full article here.