Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Inspired to Eat Weeds

Is it just me or do any of you other gardeners notice that each year there seems to be a preponderance of one specific weed that pops up everywhere? And it's not always the same weed each year either. Lamb's Quarters appears to be the weed of choice this season in and around my yard/garden and in noticing it's ample supply nearly everywhere I look, I have been reminded of a very good quiche using Lamb's Quarters that I haven't made for a couple of years.

While this thought was ruminating in my gray matter, a few days ago Jane, at
Hard Work Homestead, did a blog post about cooking with the tasty little weed. I took that as a sign that I needed to take heed, harvest some and make my Lamb's Quarters Quiche. I gathered a big bowlful of the stuff and dug out my recipe.

I clipped this recipe from our local organic food co-op newsletter many, many years ago. It was submitted by an elderly lady who was quite the colorful local character. Among some other very interesting things, she was a good cook, a great wild food forager, and someone who stretched her food budget farther than most anyone else I've ever known. The very best punch I've ever tasted was her Rhubarb Punch. (Wish I had that recipe, but I don't, darn it.)

So here's the tried-and-true, time-tested recipe for a great quiche.


1 unbaked pie shell in a 9" pie plate
1-1/2 cups shredded cheese (any good cooking cheese - I used mild cheddar)
1 cup cooked, well-drained, chopped Lamb's Quarters
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
Dash Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups milk

Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the cheese in the bottom of the pie shell, cover with the Lamb's Quarters.

Then sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup of cheese on top of that.

Beat the remaining ingredients together and pour into the pie shell.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes or until firm and starting to brown. Let stand about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serve hot or cold. (A little dab of salsa on the side is yummy.)

Mmmm-mm! This was so good when served last Sunday night that I gathered more Lamb's Quarters this afternoon and plan on making it again tomorrow.

Note: As with all greens, the Lamb's Quarters cooks down quite a bit. To get the one cup of it cooked, I started with a medium mixing bowl full of greens.


Amy Dingmann said...

Looks really good! I've always loved learning about eating what's growing out in the yard (not the garden!!) and I know we have Lambs Quarters out there. :) Thanks for the recipe. Wait until I tell the boys we can go pick some and make supper. :)

beth said...

Looks yummy! I love quiche!

Mama Pea said...

Mama Tea - Another little bit of "real learnin'" for the boys! My herb books say to just use the top tender parts but Jane says the whole plant stays just fine for cooking so I used the whole thing and it was, indeed, just yummy. Supposedly, it has more vitamins and good stuff in it than even spinach!

Hi, Beth! Good to hear from you. Quiche can be a good dish for dinner, breakfast or brunch. You could even put some cooked, crumbled bacon or diced leftover ham bits in this and I'm sure it would be enhanced (for meat lovers).

Patty said...

It seems we've all been inspired by the lambs quarters this year. I've been letting it grow in my garden, and using a lot of it too. We really like it a lot. Hubby asked me to save seeds and actually PLANT it next year. :) I said I thought it was holding its own without help from me, but I'd think about it. I'm not sure I want it going to seed in my garden though...

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

That really looks yummy. I have to make that real soon. I just found a huge patch that I didnt know was there. It might be time to dry some up for winter eating too. The way things are going, my pantry might only be filled with things I didnt plant.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

I am sure I would love this too. Just not so sure I could pawn it off on Adam. He's not big on spinach, but he will eat it in stuff. So the key here is to NOT tell him it's a weed.

Oh how I would love rhubarb punch!

Sparkless said...

I bet Lambs Quarters love cool wet weather and that's why there is so much of it this year. That quiche looks delicious. What does Lamb's Quarters taste like?

Erin said...

Oh no, not you too! LOL, those things are actually my "lawn", what lawn I have that is :) Maybe one of these days I will succumb. I pulled out tons this week growing all around my raised beds too and threw them in the trash! I admit the quiche does look good....

Mama Pea said...

Patty - Too much of a good thing?!

Jane - Drying the Lamb's Quarters and having it to toss into soups all winter long would be great!

I just saw a recipe last night for Cream of Spinach soup . . . wouldn't that be good with the Lamb's Quarters?

APG - I have a feeling your hubby would be fine with this quiche. Real men DO eat quiche, you know! ;o} Make it and ask him to guess which garden green you used. He'll obviously never come up with a weed!

Sparkless - I'm sure a lot of people might mistake it for baby spinach but it doesn't seem to have the oxalic acid in it that spinach and/or Swiss chard has that kind of makes your teeth feel funny. It's very mild, not any definite "taste" to it at all in my opinion.

Erin - Lamb's Quarter Quiche, a nice glass of chilled white wine . . . you'd be converted to the Dark Side!!

Susan said...

Only you could make eating weeds sound like a gourmand experience! That quiche looks divine!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - I kid you not, my dear. It was divine. And I have just finished cooking up another batch of Lamb's Quarters for a repeat of the quiche for din-din tonight! We'll eat at 5:30-6-ish. Can you bring the wine??

Dirt Lover said...

Hey, that sounds real good. I remember picking mustard in the orchard at my aunt and uncle's place when I was little. We couldn't wait to eat it! And quiche is a great place to hide all sorts of things. :)

Leigh said...

I love lambs quarter. I used to get a lot of it and we liked it better than spinach. I used to can quite a bit of it as well. Here, I've just seen a few lambs quarter plants and I'm letting them go to seed!

Mama Pea said...

Lori - Had to laugh at your "quiche is a great place to hide all sorts of things." How true! And you can get rid of a lot of cheese that way, too!

Leigh - I made another of the Lamb's Quarters Quiches last night and as we were eating, we were trying to determine what the Lamb's Quarters tasted like. It has such a mild flavor that you can't really put a label on it. But we felt good just knowing all those vitamins and minerals we were getting from it!