My Top Ten of wild plants that are widely spread and easy to recognise. For smoothies and salads.
The leaves of the dandelion can be picked at any point in the growing season, and while the smaller leaves are considered to be less bitter, the bigger leaves can be eaten as well, especially as an addition to a green salad. Dandelion leaves can also be steamed or added to a soup. The flowers can be eaten raw, or breaded and fried. The root of the dandelion can be dried and roasted and used as a coffee substitute, or added to any recipe that calls for root vegetables.
2. ground elder
Ground elder was once introduced here by the Romans, to supply their soldiers with fresh vegetables along the roadside. Of course they used a plant that knows how to survive in all circumstances, one that cannot be conquered. The plant is therefore considered by most gardeners to be one of the worst weeds that there is. But you can look at it at a different way; just by eating it you can control the growing. Take te top leaves that look still fresh. Wonderful in salads or to make pesto from.
Chickweed leaves, stems, and flowers can all be eaten either raw or cooked, where it adds a delicate spinach-like taste to any dish.
The young leaves of plantain can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, or sauteed, and while the older leaves can be a bit tough, they can also be cooked and eaten as well.
5. curly dock
Curly dock leaves can be eaten raw when young, or cooked when older, and added to salads or soups. The stems of the dock plant can be peeled and eaten either cooked or raw, and the mature seeds can be boiled,
or eaten raw, or roasted to make a coffee substitute. Dock leaves have a high oxalic acid content, so only eat them in moderation.
Pick the leaves with gloves on and take only the four leaves at the top that still look fresh. Boil or steam them for or, to keep them as raw as possible pour boiled water over them for at least 10 seconds. Boiling/steaming gets rid of the “sting”.
When you pick the cleavers they are easy to recognixse because they are very sticky. You can decorate yourself with them if you like! They do well in smoothies. Put them in raw and you won’t notice their stickiness. You can also cook or steam them for some minutes; they will shrink and you can add them to mashed potatoes.
10. lady’s mantle
Ladies Mantle root is edible, as are the leaves, which sheep and cattle are said to relish. The entire plant is normally harvested in midsummer and can be used medicinally for bruises and wound healing.