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Cooking with chickweed

Chickweed can be used like parsley for flavouring sauces and other food. In salads too this “weed” can add flavour especially combined with leaf salads, cucumber, paprika and beetroot, or fruits like apples and berries. Chop chickweed and spring onions finely and mix them in equal parts with sour cream, salt and pepper. To make a grassgreen salsa, mix chopped chickweed with lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper; this salsa is good with fish, asparagus and herb soups. In combination with pine nuts and parmesan chickweed makes a tasty pesto to serve with pasta or on bread. Chickweed also adds a special flavour to a mixed vegetable dish, light meat and herb quark mixtures.

Health benefits

Chickweed is good for you; it contains vitamins A, B and C and a lot of potassium. Just 50 g of raw chickweed cover an adult’s recommended daily intake of vitamin C. The glycoside saponin is responsible for chickweed’s expectorant effect. In addition, it’s believed to be a remedy for rheumatism and gout, to fight inflammation and to detoxify the blood. 

Where to find chickweed

Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a robust plant and it grows readily in many gardens, although it’s usually unwelcome and classed as a weed. The tiny, starlike flowers appear from spring to autumn. You’ll also find it on woodland edges, in uncultivated fields and in hedgerows. The parts to harvest are the young shoots, with tender green leaves. Always wash it well before eating.

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de