Lambs quarters, fat hen, pig weed or goosefoot is one of the plants/weeds my Grandfather Crittenden talked about eating when he was a kid near Call’s Mills. Oddly, no one in the family ever fed it to me. My Grandmother would point it out when it was growing in her flowerbeds, and pull it out. Grampy Critt claimed not to know that much about edible wilds, but get him talking and quite a bit came out. Some folks used to call it “Poverty Food”.
Lambs quarter is also known as wild spinach, and is interchangeable with spinach in your usual recipes. I’ve seen some use it in vegetable lasagna or some of the spinach in smoothies. You can also replace some of the basil or spinach in pesto with lambs quarter. Remember — lambs quarter smells “green”. Do not to eat the lambsquarters raw. I can’t remember why, and since I didn’t taste them raw myself, I don’t know. Maybe because of the fuzzy texture? Or perhaps they have a bitter flavor?
Sautéed Lambs quarters with Lemon
a large bowl of lambs quarters
1 tablespoon butter
Pluck the leaves from the thicker stems (just because they can be a little tough), but don’t bother to separate out the tender baby stems. Wash well and spin dry.
Sizzle a pat of butter in a skillet and then toss in a great mountain of the weeds. Push them around for 1-2 minutes until wilted and dark green. Sprinkle with coarse salt and lemon juice. Serve hot.
Add skillet-cooked (or steamed) greens to any number of soups and pots of beans.
The Orlando Sentinel
06 Jun 1985, Thu • Page 85