Edible garden: Not that hard to swallow

By Janice Marriott

Not all weeds are pointless pests, Janice Marriott discovers.

Pretty and edible, nasturtium flowers are a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Pretty and edible, nasturtium flowers are a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds. Photo / Sarah Ivey

It isn't just the crops that are growing. The weeds are getting assertive, too. One way to deal with them is to eat them.

Onion weed, so common on dark, uncultivated slopes, is, of course, an onion and you can eat every part of the plant.

Dip the flowers in tempura batter and deep-fry. Chop stalks into a bowl of cottage cheese and use as a spread. At this time of year when the tops begin to die down, you can dig up the bulbs, saute them whole with butter and add a dash of white wine and sea salt. Or pickle them, just like ordinary onions.

I hear that oxalis is delicious in salads and soups, too, but I haven't tried it.

Pretty nasturtiums that scramble under apple trees deter codling moth. The flowers can also be blended into mayonnaise for a colourful, peppery dressing. Pickled nasturtium seeds taste something like capers - dissolve two tablespoons of salt in one cup of vinegar, then add a cup of seeds. Pour into sterile jars and seal. They'll be ready for eating in two weeks.

Rocket, miner's lettuce and coriander are also weeds in my garden. Just let one of these plants seed and you'll have them forever.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf01 at 22 Oct 2014 01:21:18 Processing Time: 371ms