Friday, 10 August 2012
I've been noticing Chickweed (Stellaria media) absolutley everywhere recently. In the garden at the park, in the school garden, along the footpath, and all though our backyard.
Chickweed is a common garden weed that can be found growing in good moist soils in the cooler months.
If you are an enthusiastic gardener you have probably been weeding it out and tossing it. But it's too good to toss.
Chickweed is delicious
Chickweed has a lovely delicate flavour. Last week I added it to our salad greens. You can also make chickweed pesto or add it to sandwiches. While I'm talking about delicious - the dish you can't actually see in the background above was Frugal and Thriving's Kangaroo cottage pie topped with pureed cauliflower. Yum! It's going to become a regular meal around here while cauliflower is in season.
Chickweed is good for you
Chickweed is highly nutritous, being particularly high in Vitamins A and C. It is also a good source of iron and antioxidants.
Identifying Chickweed is easy once you know what to look for.
Chickweed has small white flowers. Each flower has five petals that are deeply lobed which makes the flowers look like they have ten petals.
The stems also have a single row of hairs which will distinguish it from its many look-alikes.
The hairs are pretty small so you will need to look closely to see them.
You might initially confuse Chickweed with Petty Spurge, but Petty Spurge is easy to distinguish by its milky sap.
Have you tried Chickweed? Have I tempted you to eat your first weed?
Speaking of weeds - I enjoyed Fiona's recent foraging for stinging nettle. She made a stinging nettle quiche and then nettle tea and nettle ravioli.
This post is part of the Foraging Friday series. I’m on a mission to learn more about foraging and am sharing a Foraging Friday post each fortnight – on the Second and Fourth Friday of each month. I welcome you to join me by sharing a recent foraging experience in the comment section or by leaving a link to your own Foraging Friday post.
Foraging Friday #2 Native Raspberry
Foraging Friday #1 Prickly Pear