Picking and eating lambs quarter: with the only recipe you need

By | July 23, 2015

In my view, lambs quarter is, hands down, the number 1 weed to eat, from the garden or out in the wild. In this video, I’m headed out to pick lambs quarter from the homestead, then I’m going to cook some up using the only recipe that anyone needs to know to make lambs quarter delicious.

Lambs quarter shows up in disturbed soils in the late psring and early summer. It’s so easy to pick at a young stage. I just pull the whole weed out of the ground and tear off the roots. That’s it.

But I don’t always pull up the whole lambs quarter plant. When the plant is older, I pinch the growing tips out and just use them, rather than the whole plant. One advantage to pinching those tips is that the lambs quarter branches out and I can come back to the same place and pick them again, over and over. The growing tips of lambs quarter don’t snap off, but are easy to pinch off. I pinch them off with my thumb and index finger.

Two distinctive features of lambs quarter are its triangular leaves and the white residue on its growing tips. It gives the younger leaves kind of a slick feel. The white residue feels gritty and wet at the same time. It rubs off easily and is a distinctive feature of lambs quarter. It is part of the lambs quarter plant and does not mean there is something wrong with the plant. It is a hydrophobic coating that sheds water.

It’s so easy to cook lambs quarter. I rinse my collected lambs quarter to get off any dirt or insects. The white residue is hydrophobic and helps to keep the lambs quarter from getting wet. Some of it does wash off into the rinse water, but it does not need to be washed off. It is part of the lambs quarter plant.

This entire batch took less than 3 1/2 minutes from start to finish. I just put it into a pan with the water that clings to its leaves, and stir it around over the heat. Sometimes i add a little more water, but nothing else. It cooks down so fast and smells so good. When it’s done, I just add some nice salt when I’m ready to eat it and that’s it.

So that’s the only recipe that anyone needs to know to really enjoy lambs quarter. Otherwise, lambs quarter can be used exactly like spinach or swiss chard. But it is too tasty of a weed to want to hide its great flavor.

Lambs quarter, Chenopodium album, Family Chenopodiaceae (the goosefoot family)

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