Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chickweed & lentils

I have been gripped by the foraging bug. And having just discovered that my garden supports a very healthy colony of edible chickweed, I'm giving it a go. It took a bit of persuading to get my other half (let's call him Patience) in on the racket. But here's how we introduced edible weeds to our diet. 

Lentil, Radish and Chickweed salad:
  • 1 cup puy/french lentils cooked as per packet, drained and rinsed- but still warm.
  • large bunch of chickweed freshly pulled from your garden (or anywhere else you trust enough to forage from), washed and torn up.
  • 4 radishes, tops and all (ours came straight from the vege patch), root minced and leaves shredded. 
  • 1/2 a brown onion
  • Salt/Pepper/Lemon/Olive oil to dress
Cook lentils as per packet instructions. While the lentils are still warm, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frypan and toss all ingredients together to wilt the greens. Season with dressing items to taste. Serve with boiled baby potato's or crusty bread for a filling, fresh and nutrient rich dinner. The more recently the items are pulled from the garden the better, you want to capture all those nutrients and antioxidants while you can.

*NOTE: With any garden or foraged item (as with anything you plan to eat), it is essential that you are 100% sure of what you are eating and that it has been thoroughly washed. 
It was just delicious! So much so that I went back for seconds. The chickweed adds a different and very earthy flavour to the mix.

Society note: I have to say that right now I am a little confused and incredulous. History says that native/wild/foraged
 foods sustained the Aboriginal communities of Australia for over 60,000 years- and yet current reports say that in remote and outback communities where food costs have more impact, individuals are eating nutrient poor, prepackaged, sugar rich foods more than ever. Surely in the face of 'food security concerns' a better understanding of native/bush/foraged foods is essential for Australian's from an early age? Why is this food knowledge not being passed on? Where other cultures embrace their foraging traditions, what are we in Australia so afraid of? I'm just keeping an eye out for more chickweed and now Murnong... so that when I can no longer afford groceries thanks to the GFC, at least I won't be reduced to a diet of sugar.

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