Slow Food, founded in 1986, is an international organization whose aim is to protect the pleasures of the table from the homogenization of modern fast food and life. Though a variety of initiatives it promotes gastronomic culture, develops taste education, conserves agricultural biodiversity and protects traditional foods at risk of extinction. It now boasts over 100,000 members in 153 countries.


Slow Food Auckland, formerly Slow Food Waitakere, is registered as a charitable entity. Registration Number: CC38263, please click here to read our Rules and Regulations

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Eating weeds and flowers, a forager's meal





Do you have onion weed in your garden? Yes it is a weed, but it is edible and tastes very nice too. In fact when I discovered that I could eat it I stopped planting spring onions in the veggie garden, and started foraging instead. The weed has pretty white flowers and a strong spring onion smell. You can eat the flowers, the leaves, the stems, the bulbs... basically everything except the dirt!




Pasta with onion weed and feta sauce

 One of the first things I make with fresh onion weeds is usually a nice raw sauce for pasta: just put the onion weed (every part of it) in the blender (leave out a few flowers for decoration) and blend with a little water, some feta cheese (Vegans can omit this and use a little tofu + salt and pepper instead) and some roasted cashew nuts. Add a little olive oil and toss into your hot pasta. This is a very filling dish and the sauce has a beautiful pale green colour.



Other things that you can make with onion weed, and a variety of flowers from your garden:

Asparagus soup with onion weed and flowers





Ingredients

1 big agria potato
1 bunch asparagus
3-4 onion weeds with flowers
1 l vegetable stock
nasturtium, flowers and baby leaves
sage flowers
violet flowers

Peel the potato and cube. Clean the asparagus, remove the woody stalk ends and cut into small pieces keeping the tips aside. Clean the onion weed, set the flowers aside and cut the stalks. Place potato, asparagus spares and onion weed stalks in a pot with the vegetable stock and simmer until all the veggies are soft. Add the asparagus tips and blanch. Remove the asparagus tips and blend the rest of the soup. Serve and top with the whole asparagus tips, decorate with nasturtium flowers and baby leaves, sage flowers, violet flowers and onion weed flowers. Eat everything!

Quinoa with flowers





Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 small carrot
1 small cucumber
1 bunch onion weed (or spring onions)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice from half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
edible flowers (e.g. onion weed flowers, marigold, violets and bok choy flowers)

Cook one cup of quinoa with two cups of water for 20 minutes. In the meantime chop very finely a small carrot, a small cucumber and a bunch of onion weeds (or spring onions). Put the still hot quinoa into a serving bowl, add two tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, the chopped vegetables, the juice of half a lemon and salt and pepper to taste. This dish can be served warm or cold (yes, even if it has cucumber it can be served warm!). Just before serving add edible flowers: I used onion weed flowers, marigold, violets and bok choy flowers.

More ideas:

Bocconcini and cherry Tomato with Borage Flowers
Gorse Cupcakes
Yudofu with Spring Onion


Spring Salad with Asparagus and Flowers

And there is so much more that you can pick, and eat! Come to our Slow Food event this Sunday to find out: click here for details.



Photos and recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

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