Wild About Weeds, Part 1

(Today: Wild Mustard Recipe)
Wild Mustard
Not Weed, Weeds you silly people! I’m talking about the stuff that grows uncontrollably in your garden. Okay, so maybe some of you have this problem with weed too, but the rest of us just have problems with good old-fashioned weeds. Sigh. I’m not getting the upper hand here am I?!

I mentioned in the chorizo post that we had met a German Weed Man (stop it Crystal!) called Eddie and so we returned to one of our favourite spots in the mountains to bother him a bit. I mean learn from him of course. Eddie spends a lot of time foraging for edible wild weeds and at one point the locals got together and decided to buy food for him because they thought he had nothing to eat. Shows how kind the Portuguese are.

So no, he is not starving or desperate for food, it’s just that he, like us, likes to eat food foraged from the wild. There are many reasons to do this. Wild as in non-cultivated foods have a higher nutritional value and have more “energetic value”. This may sound a bit like hocus-pocus (and it probably is!), but it is of higher value to your body than the mass produced, genetically modified stuff one generally gets to buy.

Foraged food is also free, which is never a bad thing! Do be careful to pick things that are a little higher up than your dog pees on…and always wash foraged goods very well. Probably a good rule for non-foraged items too actually!

HOW TO PREPARE WILD MUSTARD
The photo up top is of Wild Mustard and we are just blown away by how good it is. When eaten raw, it has a moderately sharp mustard flavour which is amazing in salads. It produces small yellow flowers and we ate the buds and the flowers and they were all good.
IN SALAD
Wash the leaves and buds thoroughly and then chop into your salad along with other greens and veggies of your choice. Start with just a few leaves so that it’s not too overpowering. Use your regular salad dressing – use a mild one as the leaves are nice and “spicy”.
It’s as simple as that!

AS A WARM VEGETABLE
Blanch the stems, leaves and buds in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Remove and strain. Roughly chop and serve alongside your regular meal as you would any green vegetable. We tossed it in a bit of oil and vinegar while it was still hot and this gave it a lovely flavour. Once cooked, it loses its mustardy flavour completely so it is a tad bland without dressing. Blandness is not a bad thing as you can give it any flavour you like. Go on give it a try and tell me what you did!

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