I love foraging. Like, LOVE it!
No matter where I go, I always keep my eyes open for edible wild plants, herbs, and legumes. And if I'm not sure, if something is edible or not, I ask my friend and pro of wild plants: Google.
Yeah, you heard right! Ever heard about foraging with google? It's actually pretty easy and I love getting to know new plants like that. If you are interested in how this works in more detail, let me know, so I can write a blog post about it.
Today I want to introduce you to one of my favorites, which I have found pretty much everywhere I went so far. It's called lambquarters, goosefoot plant or bathua leaves.
Many of you might actually have it in your gardens, it's considered a weed because it spreads and grows very quickly. But, instead of throwing it on the compost, you should really consider eating it!
This is what one of them looks like, there are many different variations of the goosefoot.
This time was actually the first time, I had trouble finding it. Of course, exactly at the time I wanted to write a blog post about it! So I walked all around Collioure (that's in the south of France, close to the border with Spain), seemingly planless.
I had almost given up when I finally spotted some plants, on a private property that was a building site. Great, I thought. Nowhere to be found but in someone's garden!
I kept walking for a bit, in the hope this was just a good area for this legume, but, NADA.
So I went back there and tried to explain to the construction guy, what I wanted in my almost non-existent french.
After 5 minutes of him not getting what I wanted, I dragged him over to the plant and showed him, this is what I wanted, it's edible and tastes like spinach. To my surprise, he actually knew the plant! And luckily he let me pick as much as I wanted.
Finally! I got you goosefoot!
So, let me tell you more about lambsquarters:
As mentioned before, they taste a bit like spinach, but better! They have more depth of flavor and work very well in soups, curries, and stews.
You can prepare them like spinach, they need just a little more cooking time until they are soft. But, you can also eat them raw in a salad! For this, you should be using the young leaves only because they are more tender.
This so-called weed is quite nutritious!
It contains saponins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A and C.
Before I now share the recipe I used this time, I have one last, but very important piece of information: There are 2 poisonous versions of the goosefoot. You can find pictures of them here!
And now, to the exciting part: the recipe!
With the goosefoot, I found this time I prepared some delicious Shakshuka.
If you never had shakshuka before, trust me. You are up for a treat!
Shakshuka with goosefoot
Serves two as a main or 4 as a starter
4-5 branches of goosefoot
1 big onion
As much garlic as you like
1 can of tomatoes
1 can of chickpeas
Some white wine
A little sugar
4 organic eggs
Optional: mustard seeds, curry powder, Aceto balsamico
Cut onion and eggplant into big cubes. Heat up a medium pan and add some olive oil.
Saute cubes until lightly browned, stir frequently.
Roughly chop garlic and add in with the optional mustard seeds. Brown for 1 more minute.
Add the tomatoes and clean out the can with white wine, and add as well. Add the chickpeas, salt, and a little bit of sugar. Optional a splash of Aceto balsamico and a little curry. Stir well.
Let simmer until the eggplant is soft, then add in the washed goosefoot leaves and let simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring once in a while. Then season to taste.
Form a little hole in the mixture and crack an egg in there. Repeat with all eggs.
Cover and let simmer on low heat until eggs have the consistency you like. Serve right away, optional with some toasted bread.
I hope you liked this post, learned something new, and are excited to try out recipes with this delicious wild plant!
If there are any questions, let me know in the comments.