Foraged Wild Garden Salad
Once you have stepped into the world of foraging and begin to recognise what's edible around you, you realise that wild food can be found on your doorstep. Literally. Here I've made the base for a foraged wild garden salad and, you guessed it, what it is made up of was found in my garden. In fact, the majority of the plants used in this recipe are considered common garden weeds! We shouldn't disregard them because of their unfortunate title though - check out their incredible medicinal and nutritional benefits:
Pennywort // Centella asiatica
With antibacterial and antiviral properties, Pennywort has been used in medicine since ancient times and is particularly good for revitalising the brain and the nervous system, improving the memory and bringing energy. When used externally, Pennywort can heal wounds and burns too. Nutritionally, Pennywort contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6 as well as calcium, magnesium, sodium, manganese, and zinc.
Dandelion // Taraxacum
Amazingly every part of this common and well known 'weed' can be eaten. Medicinally dandelion is known to be a champion against liver disorders and for more generally detoxifying the body. Nutritionally, dandelion is known as a great antioxidant because of the many vital nutrients and vitamins it contains: A,C, K and B-vitamins as well as magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron and calcium.
Chickweed // Stellaria media
Chickweed is an amazing diuretic, replacing our bodies with all the vital trace minerals and vitamins it needs. Often made into a salve, chickweed has properties that helps to heal and soothe itchy skin, burns, wounds and pretty much everything else. Nutritionally, chickweed is high in vitamin B as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, silica, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Nasturtiums // Tropaeolum
Both the leaves and the petals of nasturtiums are edible, which is fortunate as they are high in iron and vitamin C. Commonly used for infections and kidney problems, nasturtiums are also great for treating the common cold (just eat a few leaves a day) because of their antibiotic properties. Not only that but their brilliant flowers help any meal look extra special.
Once you have learned to identify the above plants (you can use the images above as a guide but to avoid accidentally cutting a poisonous look-a-like, use a reputable plant guide to verify too), head into your garden and scan the green floor. Using scissors or a small knife cut the amount you need for a nutrition-full salad and enjoy with lemon, salt and any other extras you fancy.
Let me know how you get on!