Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Foraging for Breakfast!

I have a new favorite weed dish. A few nights ago I made a yummy amaranth-lamb stew. I just threw a couple slices of lamb shoulder and half of a chopped onion (with just enough water to cover) into our mini crock pot. (Potato would be good too.) When the lamb was done, I de-boned it and added the amaranth that I had just harvested from the alleyway behind our house. Easy-smeasy!

I served it over rice. Craveable! The lamb and amaranth really compliment each other!  Since the lamb was still on sale, we put some up again the next night. My son Josh improved on a good thing by adding three cloves of chopped garlic.

After working up a hearty appetite pulling my morning weeds, Josh and I gathered some fresh amaranth for breakfast. (Before going out, Josh put one cup of rice, two cups of water and a pinch of curry powder in the rice cooker. )

First, I plucked leaves off of the little plants in our backyard. The little ones are the best!

Might as well grab some purslane while I'm at it.

And do a little weeding...

Whoops!   Looks like I'm not the only one who thinks they are yummy! A few days ago, I left a stalk of amaranth for a nearby bean plant to climb. The next morning there was nothing left but empty stems. When I went to take a pic the leaves had already grown back!  Who are these crafty culprits? The squirrel who lives by our compost pile seemed a likely suspect -  until Dan watched a lizard rear up on its hind legs and take a big bite out of an amaranth leaf. 

We didn't have nearly enough, so we went foraging in the easement behind the house - our own alleyway buffet! (How do you like the new sign I made?)

I pick from the more tender shorter plants first, then I pluck the smaller leaves from the center of the bigger plants. (Remember how the other plant grew back leaves! We can have more for later if we forage wisely!) 

I got a large bowlful, but it takes quite a lot. It shrinks like spinach when it is cooked.

We snapped off the stems of the amaranth and roots off of the purslane, then washed them thoroughly.

I removed the remaining bones from the lamb, then added the amaranth leaves to the lamb and a little broth to steam. It finished cooking in minutes.  I drained out the extra broth to save for another time.

The purslane was even faster. Just sautéed it a bit then scrambled in an egg.  I'm lucky I have any left for a scramble. Common purslane is especially crisp and flavorful first thing in the morning, so I like to eat it raw!

weeds 2 way!

Josh's does look better...
What a feast we had! I had weeds 2 way (purslane scramble and amaranth-lamb stew on curry rice). Josh added two eggs sunny-side up with feta on the side. He said it was the best thing he had in a while - even better than last time. Of course, he helped make it this time...