RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—As gardeners and lawn-care fanatics alike gear up for this year’s growing season, the age-old battle between human and weed begins anew. Your relationship to these nuisance plants may change, however, once you realize that some of them aren’t really weeds at all—they’re lunch.
Here are some suggestions for finding free munchies in your backyard’s landscape. Just remember to ID them with a credible guidebook or source if you’re not plant-savvy, wash your harvest thoroughly before consuming, and don’t take anything from an area that’s been treated with chemicals or pesticides.
Perhaps the most familiar lawn weed of them all, the dandelion may also be the weed that’s most known to be edible. In fact, the reason it exists in the U.S. is that it was introduced by European settlers as a salad green. You can buy dandelion greens at some specialty food markets, but odds are if you have any kind of lawn there are some growing a whole lot closer. Their bitter taste isn’t for everyone, so add small doses to a salad to try them out. Both leaves and stems are edible; you can also try steaming them, or serving with traditional Pennsylvania Dutch hot bacon dressing.