Wild Herbs Spinach Recipe with Dandelion, Yarrow and Speedwell.
In Austria and many other European countries, it's tradition to eat spinach on Maundy Thursday - the day before Good Friday. Today's recipe therefore is some green stuff too, but with wild herbs from the beautiful Viennese hills.
I went there for hiking with my dad, who is one of those persons knowing EVERY flower and plant's names. And knows what is edible and what is not. I've learned a lot and took some of the green stuff (aka wild herbs) home with me.
The idea and the recipe for the wild herbs spinach come from my dad. I have made two variations - one which is similar to spinach (only without spinach), and one similar to creamed spinach. The taste of the herbs used is slightly more bitter than spinach - which I really loved.
The plants that I present here also are very well suited for salads, but unfortunately the plants do not hold long after being picked. I would recommend to prepare them the same day.
The plants used for wild herbs spinach:
Please note: I can not take responsibility for the links to external websites below. Please collect some more informations, before you pick wild herbs you don't know yourself.
In March, the leaves of yarrow are still very tender and can be eaten raw. Yarrow has a lot of great ingredients and appears to help with all sorts of sufferings. Since I cannot link my dad as a walking encyclopedia here, here are some further informations on cooking with yarrow and about its ingredients.
The leaves look like:
Speedwell seems to contain a lot of vitamins and iron. At the moment, the Viennese hill "Nußberg" is completely overgrown with the nicely looking blue flowers 😉 The taste is not particularly interesting, but the tiny blossoms and the beautifully shaped leaves look pretty chic in your food:
Dandelion leaves and blossoms are also great for salad. Here's more information to dandelions for cooking.
Wild herbs spinach
I prepared two variations of the wild herbs, both similar to spinach preparation. A few of the blossoms I put aside for decoration. Potatoes and fried eggs would fit perfectly, but also fish or meat, I can imagine.
Ingredients for 2 portions:
- ½ handful of yarrow: young leaves (that are picked in March / April)
- 1 handful of speedwell: flowers and leaves
- 2 handful of dandelion: flowers and leaves
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- ½ cup (125ml) vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- optionally: 2-3 tablespoons of whipped cream
- cook finely chopped onion with a bit of oil in a pan, until soft
- add finely chopped or pressed garlic
- wash and cut herbs, and add to the pan
- pour 125ml water or soup
- add salt, pepper, caraway seeds to taste
- simmer for a few minutes, until most of the water has evaporated
- For a creamy variation add one spoon of whipped cream and puree with a blender