Chickweed Amsterdam April 2012

Chickweed abounds!

Chickweed Amsterdam April 2012Chickweed makes a delicious and nutritious sandwich filling, it’s also plentiful, easily forage-able and available almost year round (it gets scorched and disappears at midsummer and has a slightly different form in mid winter but still tastes great).

It’s a popular medicinal herb, used as a tonic and for a multitude of ailments including skin complaints. It tastes fresh and peppery and it’s so successful that you are very likely to notice it as a”weed” in any plant pots or borders you may have. Birds love it, hence the name.

I took the photo this afternoon in my neighbourhood, the chickweed is growing in a city tree pit (aka dog latrine) so I won’t be harvesting this patch. But when I find chickweed on my balcony or in a nice clean area, I don’t hesitate to pick some for food.

If your not familiar with it use a good field guide for wild flowers to help with correct identification. Herbalist Susun Weed has lots of detailed information about this plentiful nourishing herb on her website.

As low impact lunch items go, I don’t think you can get much better than a weed which most people dig up and send for incineration here in town. If you haven’t already, please give it a try and let me know what you think.

Update:
Today I shared an exquisite meal at gastronomic restaurant Bord’deau in Amsterdam with my lovely and was delighted to find chickweed in one of the amuses! In the photo you will see a sprig of fresh chickweed nestling against beetroot and mustard ice cream. A perfect combination and what a great recipe that would be for the blog. The meal also included a sprig of what seemed to be rock samphire and many other seasonal herbs. Umm, no dinner required for me this evening.

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