Wild Salad Greens
As I got to know and recognize the wild plants that pop up all over, I realized how much more beneficial they are than the domesticated greens. A lettuce for example is deprived of most of its minerals and vitamins for the sake of being palatable and not bitter as its ancestors.
Here are some of the edible wild greens I see coming up year after year in my garden:
1.Lamium Purpureum // Dead Nettle
This plant keeps coming back to our garden in the beginning of winter. From February to April it blooms beautiful purple flowers that bees love.
To use in salads I pinch the tops and gather two hands full of it. It tastes earthy and has a wild aroma to it.
2.Plantago Major // Broadleaf Plantain
I gather its young leaves here and there and toss them into the salad mix. It doesn’t have a dominant taste but provides lots of vitamins and minerals.
Also whenever I cut my hand or get stung by a bee, I chew one of its leaves and press it onto the cut or sting. It quickly takes away the pain and helps the healing process.
3.Daucus Carota // Wild Carrot
We have a couple of wild carrot varieties in our garden that pop up in the beginning of the winter.
This one tastes similar to parsley but fresher!
4.Malva Sylvestris // Mallow
Mallow also dyes back in summer and comes back in winter.It has a strong root system, so I just leave it where it is (even if it’s in the middle of the vegetable bed), and let it to its own thing!
I gather young leaves and chop them up into the salad. It tastes similar to spinach and somewhat like okra because of its mucilaginous properties.
It has many vitamins and minerals and also has benefits to joints.
5.Taraxacum Officinale // Dandelion
And of course dandelion! A plant that accompany me everywhere I go. It has so many benefits and vitamins,minerals that it begs us to eat it!
I gather young leaves, chop them up and toss them into the salad.
After I mix all the herbs/plants together, I make a dressing of olive oil,lemon and salt, pour it in the salad and with clean hands I mix it all in. Salt gets the bitterness out of dandelion greens.