Wild Spinach (Lambs Quarter)
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Wild spinach is not as sweet nor as juicy as common spinach, wild spinach, offers an even greener, earthier, mineral flavor. Some describe the taste of young, wild spinach as reminiscent to asparagus and cabbage. Producing triangular velvety-textured leaves, the entire plant, including the stems, is edible. Small black edible seeds on the plants are most often not fully developed when wild spinach is harvested and are still encased in tiny green pollen-like balls, which are also edible.
Wild spinach is available spring and summer and year-round in moderate climate regions.
Wild spinach, botanically known as Chenopodium album, is also frequently known as lamb's quarter spinach, Indian spinach, goosefoot, fat-hen and pigweed. Wild spinach is a European cousin to quinoa and beets. Wild spinach is found growing prolifically throughout North America where is it commonly regarded and discarded as a weed.
High in vitamin C and rich in riboflavin, one cup of cooked wild spinach provides an excellent source of vitamin A, folate, magnesium, potassium, vitamins E, B6, and thiamine. Wild spinach actually contains substantially more nutrients than cultivated spinach.
Wild spinach is a delicate, leafy green and may be used as a substitute for baby spinach, though is best in cooked preparations. Used widely in Latin cuisine it is often paired with fresh cheeses and chile sauces. Pair with fresh citrus and berries, nuts, strong cheeses, spring vegetables such as peas and asparagus, eggs and potatoes; toss with hot pasta or grains until barely wilted. Lamb's quarters (wild spinach) has a more mild, less metallic flavor than mature spinach and is complimented by vinaigrette, fresh herbs, garlic, toasted bread and beans. Keep baby spinach cool and dry until ready to use.
Wild spinach has been consumed since the Neolithic ages and throughout all history. Introduced and popularized in England in the 1600's from southeast Asia, Wild spinach was introduced to the America's from European settlers.
Recipes that include Wild Spinach (Lambs Quarter). One is easiest, three is harder.
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