How To Forage And Cook Lamb’s Quarters
Ahh, spring is here and so is the Lamb’s quarters.
I can’t get enough of this awesome, wild green during the spring and early summer. This year I want to challenge myself with foraging and preparing wild food more. As I learn and take pictures I will be sure to show you what delicious (or not so delicious) things I cook up while using foraged foods as the center focus.
Here is some fun information about Lamb’s Quarters
- It’s simply delicious and tastes as good if not better than spinach.
- And it can be found in every US State except Hawaii.
- It goes by many names, Wild Spinach, Pigweed and Goosefoot are a few.
- Lamb’s Quarters was once domesticated by early native Americans.
- And it’s not only the leaves that you can use but the seeds as well.
- I have yet to harvest the seeds, but I certainly intend to this summer.
- The seeds can be used in muffins, bread, and cakes, or used whole as a hot cereal.
- It is now so widespread that it’s considered a weed.
- I found this large patch at my grandparents and was only too happy to harvest it.
The plant’s leaves and seeds are what you’re after. Look for the young tender leaves in the spring and early summer, and harvest the seeds in the late summer. After you’ve foraged for all those beautiful greens, be sure to wash away any dirt or bugs. I don’t usually find any bugs on them, but you never know when one might try to hitch a ride.
How to cook Lamb’s Quarters:
Now, to sauté these beauties, put 1 Tbs. Butter or Olive Oil in a hot pan and pile in the greens. Keep in mind the fact that they will dramatically shrink in size. Stir, and add more butter if they begin sticking to the bottom of the pan. After they’ve wilted and reduced in size, they are ready.
Lamb’s Quarters for Breakfast
I love to eat them with a little salt and pepper, but if I want to make a breakfast out of it I will sauté mushrooms, fry an egg and toast a homemade English muffin. And voila! You have a breakfast sandwich that you’ll want to get up for.
Note: add bacon or sausage if you want to make a meaty, more filling sandwich.
Lamb’s Quarters for Lunch
For a quick lunch, sauté Lamb’s Quarters with mushrooms and warm a tortilla over medium heat. Add a slice of cheese to the tortilla and the sautéed mixture and warm until the cheese is hot and melted. Enjoy your Lamb’s Quarters and Mushrooms Quesadilla while it’s still hot.
And that’s how to cook Lamb’s Quarters for lunch and breakfast.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my spin on Lamb’s Quarters and give it a try.
Have you ever tried Lamb’s Quarters?
I have not tried lamb’s quarters. I will have to become a forager of it after reading this. Yum. An elementary school teacher taught about foraging and I can remember picking stinging needles and steaming them for my family. About 50 years ago. Foraging became a lifelong passion. We are getting ready for mushrooms….Thanks for posting and for being an awesome young woman.
Abby Jo says
How neat to learn about foraging as a child! Those are the experiences that truly shape us.
Oh, mushroom hunting is the best. Look out for a post on Morel Mushroom soup in May!
Thank you for your lovely comment!
I think I may have lambs quarters in my garden but am not sure. Are the stems red?
Abby Jo says
I don’t believe so… Lambs-quarter should be all green.
I would suggest finding an experienced forager in your region and connecting with them. I’ve always found local libraries to be a wonderful resource, perhaps the librarians can point you in the direction of foraging classes and plant identification!
I love to saute some onions and garlic in olive oil, add lambs quarters and continue to saute with salt and pepper until wilted. Add a little water and cover and steam until soft and water is absorbed. In the mean time boil small diced potatoes in salted water until done; drain. Turn up heat to med high or so under LQs, move them to one side, and add some more oil or lard. Add potatoes, adjust for s/p and saute. I try to get them browned some but it’s not necessary. Then mix all together, add fresh or dried dill. Just before removing, add just a little apple cider vinegar to taste. It’s the star that ties all of it together.
Abby Jo says
Thank you, Kim! That sounds like a delicious idea; I’ll have to try it sometime. I love hearing fresh ideas and sharing recipes with all of our awesome readers! Thanks for commenting. -Jo