Friday, May 29, 2009

In a Mallow Mood

In my ongoing attempts to appreciate the 'bounty all around me'- today I had a go at yet another 'edible weed'- Mallow.
I think it's worth pointing out at this moment that 'weed' is a relative term- and whilst it can be applied to heavily seeding, fast growing items, it's more often than not applied to plants that are simply growing where we don't want them to. Making the common definition of a weed just 'a plant out of place'.
In this respect, I am beginning to look at weeds in a new light, and in fact not classing them as weeds at all anymore. I understand that you can't eat them all, but that doesnt' stop them being useful in ways that we are not aware of, and it certainly encourages me to weed my garden more selectively.  
So after the success of the chickweed dinner, here is the taste test of Mallow.
I found this recipe at the lovely blog: Veggie Way and the original recipe can be found here, but as the original comes from a beautiful vegetarian website, the recipe below has some minor alterations, including the addition of chicken stock. 
Most importantly, you need to be able to identify mallow and then test it to make sure it doesn't make you nauseaus- as with any foraged food that you are dealing with for the first time.

Mallow-carrot rice
  • a freshly picked bunch of mallow, leaves removed from stalks- if you forage for them, make sure you trust the area you are picking from and that they have not bee sprayed with weed killer etc.
  • 2 radishes, tops and all, diced and chopped
  • 1 large brown onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup of rice, washed and drained
  • 1/2 cup of chicken or veg stock
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt,pepper to taste
  • Squeeze of lemon juice to finish
Wash the Mallow leaves thoroughly. Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan and sauté the onion until golden. Add the carrots to the pan and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the radish to the pan and then add tomato paste and stir into the mixture. Add the chopped mallows, rice, salt, pepper and chicken stock. Cover and cook on low heat until the rice is tender enough- about half an hour. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Mallow dosen't appear to be terribly flavourful on it's own, more like a green filler. But there is plenty of it around, so it's a great way to cut food miles, costs and fill up- if that's what you're looking for. For me? I'm just interested in knowing more about the food around me. It seems a willful and ignorant thing not to take an interest. Stay tuned for more weed eating adventures and recipes to come.
*Note: we are hail and hearty after eating Mallow and the dish was so tasty, we'll be making it again. 

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Tonnes of rogue mallow growing in our vegie patch if you'd like more!! xx