With the coming of warmer weather, the greens
growing wild add appeal to your meals. Many of these
today are available in the supermarkets when you can't
find them in the wild around your home, as we did when I
grew up on the farm.
To learn more of these greens, if you're going to
look for them in the wild, it's advisable to consult
a guide with description and illustrations to aid
you in your picking.
When gathering your own greens, make sure you
acquire them in areas where the water is pure and no
spraying has been done. Washing greens in a
vegetable wash should help as well.
WATERCRESS stem tips and leaves often are used for
salads. This is a plant native to Eurasia and
introduced into the United States. It's found along
streams and fresh, clear pools, as well as in some
This green is considered a delicacy in salads,
sandwiches, and soups and is high in Vitamins A and
PLANTAIN is a wild green you usually cook before
eating. It has heavy veined leaves. Many cooks
remove these ribs or veins before cooking. The
English plantain, as one of the more common ones is
called, has been used for tea, a salad green, or
boiled vegetable. This plant came over from England
with the colonists and has become established
throughout the United States.
WILD DOCK GREENS are some my mom served in the
spring. These were favored by my father over the
dandelion greens she cooked, too. This wild plant is
rich in Vitamins A and C and is served after being
boiled in salted water. Often Mother served salt
pork with the wild dock.
DANDELION GREENS are most common of the spring
greens. The young tender leaves can be added to a
tossed salad, combined with other greens, served
with a hot dressing or boiled with bacon or salt
To make a WATERCRESS SALAD toss together 2 cups
well-packed watercress and 1 sliced onion. Add oil
and vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. You also can
substitute your favorite salad dressing. Watercress
also can be added to other green salads.
For a DANDELION SALAD, you can use 1 pound fresh
dandelion leaves or a combination of dandelion with
romaine, iceberg, or leaf lettuce. Usually this is
in the quantity of half dandelion and half lettuce.
Sometimes cucumbers are added to the dandelion
salad. Then toss an oil and vinegar dressing, using
whatever amount is desirable to your taste. Or you
can make a dressing with lemon juice, dash of sugar,
olive oil, salt and pepper. Some cooks like to use
yogurt for a dressing.
DANDELION SALAD WITH EGGS - This version calls for 4
cups packed dandelion leaves which have been washed
thoroughly, 1/4 cup chopped green onions. Toss with
French dressing or oil and vinegar as desired.
Garnish with sliced hard-boiled eggs and tomato
wedges. Serve at once.
(With the recipes for Dandelion Salads you can
substitute other greens or use them combined with
(Mary Emma Allen writes from her woodland home in
New Hampshire. Her
work includes stories for children and adults.She
also has written a Country Kitchen cooking
column for newspapers for more than 40 years. Check
out her Tea Time Notes,