Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Foraged Wild Greens, Purslane and Lamb's Quarters

All images © Valery Rizzo

Remember I told you about the urban farmer and homesteader extraordinaire Megan Paska in a previous post about Brooklyn Honey. Well for a few days every week Meg goes up to the Catskills to work at the Newton Farm Cooperative. Over the summer she started bringing down produce from the farm to sell in Brooklyn in the form of $20 farm baskets or CSA shares. I decided to give it a try and man for $20 or two large bags full of healthy food, I ate like a vegetable king…or would I be a queen? for the entire week.

I arrived at Meg's apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn to pick up my share which consisted of a choice of either a half dozen farm fresh eggs or a lb of red potatoes, tender collard greens, broad green beans, juicy heirloom tomatoes, beautiful plum and cherry belle radishes, an eggplant, some wild greens they were foraging at the time, which were purslane, wild thyme and lamb’s quarters, a head of German red garlic, radicchio, cucumbers, green peppers, lime basil and holy basil.

That week I made several recipes from my large bounty including a salad of heirloom tomatoes with cucumbers, mozzarella di bufala, purslane and olive oil, a red cabbage salad with lamb’s quarters, lemon juice and olive oil, collard greens with caramelized onions (yum, yum), steamed red potatoes with broad green beans mixed with my own heirloom pole beans from my Brooklyn garden (yum, yum, yum), pan roasted vegetables with olive oil and wild thyme, I threw my radicchio into a salad and my basil into pasta. Very healthy week!

If you're interested in learning more about Megan Paska or her Brooklyn based Newton Farm Cooperative CSA offerings check out her blog Brooklyn Homesteader...she is offering some great workshops right now!

Purslane is a wild edible green and has a lemonie crisp taste. Its leaves and stems can be eaten raw in salads and it also contains high amounts of Vitamin C and A as well as iron.

Heirloom tomatoes
1 ball mozzarella di bufala
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers into quarters and toss into a large bowl. Over same bowl with your fingers pull apart your ball of mozzarella into rustic bite-size pieces and add to salad. Using only the leaves with small sprigs pick apart your purslane and drop desired amount on top of salad. Drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss mixture together and serve with a nice loaf of 7 grain bread to soak up the nice juice left in the bottom of your bowl.

Lamb’s Quarters is a backyard weed, also called wild spinach. Although it is extremely mild in taste it is packed with nutrition. It has more protein than spinach and more calcium than most dark leafy greens including kale and collards and also contains iron vitamin C and vitamin A.

Red cabbage
Lamb's quarters
1 lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Remove outer leaves of cabbage and cut its root end off. Cut cabbage into quarters and working with one quarter at a time, slice as thin as you can into long slices and throw into a large bowl. Take your bunch of lamb’s quarters and pick off leaves whole as well as some flowers and tossed on top of cabbage. Add on top the juice of one lemon. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil then season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss together and enjoy with a nice piece of healthy wheat bread.


  1. yum! the tomato salad is right up my alley. lovely greens, how I will miss them.

  2. Wow Valery! What beautiful photos! The rustic bread looks yummy too.. This post feels like there's still some summer left, with all those bright colors. Delicious!