“What is a weed?” A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
As spring approaches, and we travel to the farmers market, we often think only of vegetables, however, weeds can also provide great nourishment! Below are a few of my favourite spring vegetables, including weeds!
Perhaps your front lawn is sprawling with dandelions which just might not be a bad thing: this green is a surprising nutrient rich food with not only the leaves packed with iron, magnesium, zinc and vitamins A, C and D but the root has been used for centuries for liver and gallbladder issues.
How to eat them?
Simply toast almonds in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and toss in your dandelion greens and saute. It’s fast and nutritious.
Asparagus is a fully loaded nutritional pack of vitamins a and c, potassium plus a good source of fiber.
Asparagus History: Crazy as it may sound, people of Greece used asparagus to cure toothaches. The Romans surrounded their asparagus gardens with high walls as they prized the tall majestic stalks. They made their way to North America in the 19th century after a quick stop in England.
How to eat them?
Steam for 4 to 7 minutes; for the simple taste buds drizzle with olive oil, a touch of black pepper and a few graded shavings of Parmesan cheese, but those who like the gourmet meal, baked in a tarte with leeks and Gruyere cheese. Watch the below video on Merrin and Pearl cooking asparagus in their favorite way.
Basil History: Basil was first discovered in India, where not only was basil used for culinary creations but also used by the Indians when swearing their oaths in court. Basil then migrated westward to the boot shaped country where Italian suitors would signal their love by placing a sprig of basil in their hair. In Romania this similar custom was practiced – where if a boy accepts a sprig of basil from a girl, it means they are engaged to be married.
How to eat basil?
Basil Pesto is a great sauce over noodles or tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Below is recipe from Simple Recipes.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts or macadamia nuts (YUM!)
- 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Place the your nut of choice into a food processor and chop/pulse
- Add the basil and pulse. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more
- Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Add the grated cheese and gently stir it all together