A weed is just a plant growing out of place

Last week in the CSA share that my mom and I split, we had the option to try two kinds of wild greens: purslane and lamb’s quarters. We took a bag of each, and Mom kept the purslane to try while I took the lamb’s quarters.

Lamb’s quarters (that link includes lots of photos) are a relative of spinach. They tasted a little like spinach to me, but also like wild leaves, although not unpleasantly so. The leaves themselves are smallish — at least mine were — and a bit more tedious than spinach to pick off the stems and wash.

Mixed with warm lentils and red wine vinaigrette, topped with feta, the lamb’s quarters were delicious. Here’s the recipe, provided by the Northwest PA Growers’ Co-op and attributed to “Facts on Edible Wild Greens in Maine,” Mahmoud El-Begearmi, Extension specialist, nutrition and food safety, University of Maine Cooperative Extension; Bulletin #4060.

Warm Lentil and Lamb’s-Quarters Salad With Feta Cheese

4 cups water
1-1/4 cups dried lentils
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried whole oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 small clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
3 cups lamb’s-quarters, well washed

Combine 4 cups water and lentils in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

Combine 2 tablespoons water, olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic in medium bowl. Stir well. Add lentils, cheese and lamb’s-quarters; toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes four 1-cup servings.

For this, I used a French feta cheese, Valbreso Feta, and I need for you to know that it is the most exquisite feta cheese I’ve ever tasted. Salty and just barely tart, and somehow also wonderfully sweet, like the goats had eaten only cherries their whole lives.

2 replies on “A weed is just a plant growing out of place”

  1. Hi Cindy,
    I didn’t realize you were such an interesting cook! When I first read “lamb Quarters,” I thought you meant the back side of lamb–meat, you know! Looks like a tremendous salad.

  2. Kathie, I found the name confusing too. And I can’t figure out, looking at the plant, how it got its name. Maybe it’s what they feed to baby sheep?

    Come to think of it though, lamb’s quarters salad would be a nice accompaniment to roasted leg of lamb. Mmm!

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