JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Monday, April 06, 2009

Weed sauce

These are the leaves I used to make a salsa verde for lunch. The dandelions came from the lawn, just before its first cut of the year; the nettles came from a newly-sprung patch just outside the greenhouse; the rocket had self-seeded in the greenhouse; the sorrel has seeded itself all over the path - my fault for not picking it hard enough last year. In other words, this is the lazy gardener's sauce. Tastes good.

This variation on my basic salsa verde recipe went as follows:


  • a small basket of mixed green leaves
  • a little red wine vinegar
  • two or three anchovies
  • some mustard
  • olive oil

PS if you are using nettles, you need to blanch them briefly, to defuse the sting:

Related links

Nettle pesto

Nettle soup
Nettle tea
Nettle beer


Ed Bruske said...

Encouraging people to forage is a great thing, Joanna. I've always hoped I might be expert enough to some day take people on edible weed tours of Washington, D.C.

Zabeena said...

Now look what you've done! Went for a walk on Sunday, spotted very healthy looking nettle and wanted them! I had never looked at nettle in this way before!!
Must go and look up your nettle beer now. I've already passed on the nettle pesto to my eldest who has a glut of nettles in the back garden and at the squat!(And he's heavily into sustainability... he and his friends even go round planting potatoes in parks...)
Oh, and excuse my total lack of knowledge: which one is the sorrel?

Anonymous said...

Ah, you're my nettle guide, Joanna! I just had my first nettle soup this week, haltingly. Love your chickens. Enjoy Easter.

Joanna said...

Ed - let me know if you do, it would be worth coming all the way to join in ...

Zabeena, LOVE the idea of your student son making nettle beer to sustain his squat ... I'm just very keen to eat lovely nettles, when they grow without any help from anyone. The sorrel - it's the one that looks like spinach ... but now that I look at it again, it might even be the spinach. There are two types of sorrel, and the spinach-y one is coarser than the shield-shaped one called buckler's sorrel. Both are delicious, though

Labelga - SO glad you are cooking your nettles, hope you liked them. If you're not yet keen on the taste, add a little mint, they go very well together and make the whole dish taste less nettle-y, which can be a good thing when you start on this journey. Enjoy your Easter


Sarah said...

Joanna, this is utterly delightful, completely down my street. I'm OBSESSED with the blessed stinging nettle. As you may care to look at my blog where I think I have done 3 or 4 entries. Your weed sauce is utter sorcery! Thank you so much!

Joanna said...

I love eating weeds, it's the ultimate food, really, loads of variety and no effort or expense. Just the thing :)