Eat your lawn: wild greens salad.


Why mow it when you can eat it?

Today I wandered around our yard with a basket and came back with a salad.

It had chickweed greens and flowers, dandelion greens, bittercress greens and flowers, creasy greens, violet leaves, and sorrel in it. Chickweed and violet are mild and moist, peppergrass and creasy greens are spicy with a hint of bitterness, dandelion leaves (before the flowers bloom) are pleasantly bitter, and sorrel is distinctly sour.

The boy thought it was too many flavors in one salad, but to me it just tasted like today: riotous spring!

Hint: If you want to encourage more edible (and medicinal) weeds in your yard, dig up a bit here and there. Lots of tasty plants like to grow on disturbed ground.


  1. Hank said,

    April 11, 2008 @ 10:50 pm

    I used to make the very same salad in Virginia; I called it my “back yard” salad. I especially like the violet leaves, which you don’t really see out here in the West.

  2. Jim K said,

    April 12, 2008 @ 9:56 pm

    What is you opinion on eating Indian Poke /Poke weed? My wife, a fellow West Virginian (near Clendenin) and her mother swear by fresh poke every spring (using only the youngest shoots and leaves.We only eat it boiled or fried/wilted. Some say it needs to be boiled in multiple changes of water. Others say not at all and a few people I know seem to have “sallet,” which means cooked greens, confused with “salad” and eat it raw. I’ve never found a good consensus, but our back hill is run over in poke and dock and we tend to eat it like a wilted green (usually with a good balsamic vinegar).

  3. Sally said,

    April 13, 2008 @ 5:41 am

    Purslane is my absolute *favorite-ist* weed! I love it raw or pickled.

  4. Emma said,

    April 15, 2008 @ 4:33 am

    After your last post, and the idea of paying close attention to a herb, I took your advice. It so happened that the small patch of sun in our tiny yard was pointing me to some dandelions, so this was the herb! I loved the sweet nutty flavour, and made salad for lunch with beetroot and almonds.

    Not being able to get the dandelions from my head, I set about weaving them into my afternoons artwork, and made a post about them (and other things) on my website. Thank you for the inspiration and the reminder to pay close attention.

  5. Finspot said,

    April 18, 2008 @ 10:59 am

    The well-named miner’s lettuce, an early bloomer, was our go-to source of wild greens when we lived off the grid in Oregon. That plant got many a goldpanner through the last of the cold and damp season.

  6. AnneTanne said,

    April 19, 2008 @ 3:04 pm

    Thank you for this post, it inspired me to write a post about a spring greens salad too, last friday.
    Hope it brings some Belgian visitors to your excellent blog/site!

  7. crabappleherbs said,

    May 4, 2008 @ 9:17 pm

    Hank — Isn’t it tasty?

    Jim — I eat poke sallet in the spring, boiled in 2 changes of water like I was taught. I wouldn’t eat it raw. And I wouldn’t eat it in quantity without boiling it.

    Sally — Oh, yes, purslane is wonderful. I haven’t had any come up in my garden yet this year. I’m waiting…

    Emma — You’re welcome! Sounds like a tasty salad.

    Finspot — We don’t have the west-coast miner’s lettuce here, but we do have spring beauties (a relative). They’re kind of tiny for salad, though.

    AnneTanne — I’m glad you were inspired! And thanks!

  8. TIE-DYED DOULA said,

    May 6, 2008 @ 11:33 am

    I am also from the Wild and Wonderful-I just did a post entitled “WEEDS”. it is comparing dandelions to birth. Check it out. My reverence for weeds is golden!
    Shine On!!

  9. crabappleherbs said,

    May 6, 2008 @ 10:49 pm

    Hi Shawna. I couldn’t find your “weeds” post. But thanks for visiting — it’s always exciting to hear of another WV blogger…

  10. Candy said,

    May 31, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

    I just got back from home (OAK HILL, WV) and yes I did bring me back some young poke salad and I am boiling it now as I write. I got some turkey bacon, (can’t eat pork) and I’m gonna saute it with some fresh green onions and top it with a couple of boil eggs, and a couple slices of fresh tomatoes. Um-umm, now that’s some good eat’n.

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