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By Mary Emma Allen

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 supermarkets.
This green is considered a delicacy in salads, sandwiches, and soups and is high in Vitamins A and C.
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 pork.
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 the dandelions.)
(c)2015 Mary Emma Allen
(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,
E-mail: me.allen@juno.com)


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