52 Wild Plants You Can Eat

Plantain

Plantago

Is another one of those plants that seems to thrive right on the edge of gardens and driveways, but it’s also edible. Pick the green, rippled leaves and leave the tall flower stems. Blanch the leaves and sauté with some butter and garlic just as you would with kale or any other tough green.

Garlic Grass

garlic grass

Garlic grass (Allium vineale or wild garlic) is an herbal treat often found lurking in fields, pastures, forests and disturbed soil. It resembles cultivated garlic or spring onions, but the shoots are often very thin. Use it in sandwiches, salads, pesto or chopped on main courses like scallions.

Watercress

watercress

Cresses (Garden cress, water cress, rock cress, pepper cress) are leafy greens long cultivated in much of Northern Europe. They have a spicy tang and are great in salads, sandwiches, and soups.

Lamb’s Quarters

lambs quarters

Use the leaves raw in salads, or cooked in soups, in mixed cooked greens, or in any dish that calls for cooking greens.  Lamb’s Quarters are susceptible to leaf miners; be careful to harvest plants that are not infested.  Although Lamb’s Quarters are best before the flowers appear, if the fresh young tips are continuously harvested, lamb’s quarters can be eaten all summer.  Lamb’s Quarters is also called Pigweed, Fat Hen, and Goosefoot.

Goosetongue

Plantago

Use the young leaves raw in salads, or cooked in soups, in mixed cooked greens, or in any dish that calls for cooking greens.  Goosetongue is best in spring and early summer, before the flowers appear.  Goosetongue can be confused with poisonous Arrowgrass, so careful identification is essential. Goosetongue is also called Seashore Plantain.

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