Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wild Greens

Clockwise from bottom left: Dandelion, Mallow, Spiderwort, Wood sorrel 

I've noticed several wild greens sprouting after the little bit of rain we got here in Central Texas. Since we have such mild winters here in the South, we can find plenty of greens to eat throughout the season. Greens are so important in our diet and 'grazing on greens' as we go about our business is quite popular these days. When you're out on a walk, picking through your garden or simply relaxing in your yard, keep an eye out for these tasty, nutritious treats:

Dandelion greens (Taraxacum officinale): Though often bitter, the greens help with digestion and cleanse the body. Eat them raw or cooked.

Mallow (Malva neglecta): This less popular, though wonderfully tasty green are a fabulous base for a salad since they are sturdy, slightly crunchy and mild-tasting.

Spiderwort, Flowering

Spiderwort ( Tradescantia spp.): Most people would recognize spiderwort by its flowers, but the young leaves are actually edible and deliciously mild and crunchy.

Wood sorrel or oxalis (Oxalis spp.): Wood sorrel is one of the most ubiquitous and popular wild greens. Its heart-shaped leaflets give it away and its distinct lemony, tart flavor is a treat as a garnish or mixed into a salad.