I had to post this beautiful picture of the wild herb and greens salad that we made for a local, foodie/dinner event this past week. This salad contained about 20 different wild herbs and weeds and a few different kinds of edible blossoms — all being offered up around most non-sprayed, chemical-free, not mowed lawns. The dinner was entitled Spring Eats and the menu consisted of:
Wild greens/herbs salad with soaked/roasted local pecans, dried cranberries, locally-made raw goat’s milk feta, and a vinaigrette made from a local apothecary’s (actually me and a friend’s apothecary) mighty mineral vinegar tonic
Wild greens/herbs pesto (yes, loaded with garlic, local pecans, and permesan) on buckwheat soba noodles
To drink: locally made kombucha or beet kvass
For desert: vitality truffles (made by the same apothecary mentioned above)
Our event was held at the local MS Modern Homesteading Center which opened its doors this past January.
Wish to know what herbs and weeds you could put in your wild salad or pesto? Well, there are many! Most of the plants below are wild or weeds while some are domesticated and found in most gardens. I will divide the possible contents by the % that should be in the salad or pesto:
70-90% — centella erecta, chickweed (3 different kinds), dead nettle leaves, wild geranium leaves, stinging nettles (for pesto), speedwell, ground ivy, violet leaves, purslane, and plantain
10-30% — young yarrow leaves, peppermint leaves, shiso, young wild carrot leaves, violet flowers, nasturtium flowers, redbud flowers, sage, thyme, young yellow dock leaves, cilantro, parsley, and dandelion leaves
These plants provide a variety of benefits. In combination, you can expect some anti-microbial activity, Omega-3’s, organic acids, digestive tract and liver support, vitamins, and minerals. To me, this is what spring tastes like — fresh greens and a diversity of newly sprouted flavors!
Basically, I double-rinsed the plants in water and used a salad spinner to dry. I then chopped the leaves up coarsely, added some garden lettuce leaves, and tossed in the dressing — ready to eat!