Ava Chin, Urban Forager blogger for the New York Times, writes about lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium album), “I remember the first time I tried lamb’s quarters, nibbling on the young, tender raw leaves plucked from the tip of the plant. I thought they tasted pretty much like other leafy greens. I didn’t expect to be wowed once I got them into my kitchen. But after sautéeing them in olive oil and adding a little bit of salt, I took my first bite and nearly dropped my fork. I knew lamb’s quarters was supposed to taste like spinach, but I wasn’t prepared for them to out-spinach spinach.”
To harvest it, gather the top growth from young plants (gather a bunch because you can store it in freezer bags once it’s blanched). Like its cousin quinoa, it’s a super-food—high in Vitamins A and C, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, manganese, potassium and iron.
Kay Young has a wonderful recipe for creamed lamb’s quarter greens in her book Wild Seasons: Gathering and Cooking Wild Plants of the Great Plains. It's delicious and easy to make as well. Kay recommends sauteing it with onion, mushrooms and butter, then adding a little flour, some milk, salt and pepper and maybe a dab of sour cream at the end.
*Excerpted from the 2014 GreatPlants Gardener