Quick post today as we’re traveling for the holiday weekend. Lamb’s Quarters is one of our favorite seasonal greens. I had never heard of it until last year when it popped up in our custom CSA from Montalbano Farms. Curious about it I ordered some. It kind of looks like big parsley with its jagged leaves and is related to spinach. Apparently Lamb’s quarters can take over any open space, thus its stature as a ‘weed’ and popularity with foragers. Weed though it may be, lamb’s quarters is edible, especially in the early part of the season when you can eat the leaves and stems.
According to the interwebz, lamb’s quarters goes by many names such as pigweed, goosefoot, or my favorite bacon-weed. It is chock full of nutrients like protein, iron, vitamins C & A, calcium, and phosphorus, but like spinach lamb’s quarters also contains oxalic acid which can interfere with absorption of some of those nutrients if you eat too much of it raw. Of course you can easily remove the oxalic acid like you do with spinach, by cooking it.
Lamb’s quarters can be used in salads, sautéed, creamed, basically treat it just like pretty much any other green. It’s not as hardy as kale (what is?) but also not as delicate as spinach. More somewhere in between. Generally, you’ll need twice the amount you want cooked because it reduces like spinach but doesn’t turn into such a mushy mess.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been braising and sautéing with some spring garlic and smoked pork tenderloin. So good. Must be why it is also called bacon-weed. If you have a favorite spinach recipe lamb’s quarters can easily be substituted. In addition to sautéing like any green I like to use lamb’s quarters in a ravioli filling. This particular one has some sausage added. And why not? Bacon-weed, pigweed, I think they’re trying to tell us something.
Have a happy and safe Independence Day!
Lamb’s Quarter and Sausage Ravioli Filling
- 8 oz lamb’s quarter, cleaned and rinsed
- ½ – ¾ C cooked sausage
- ½ C Parmigiano reggiano, grated
- 2 eggs
- Salt to taste
Over medium heat cook the lamb’s quarter down until wilted, like you would spinach. If the leaves are still wet from washing you should be able to simply add to hot pan and cook. If not add a Tbs of water when cooking.
Place lamb’s quarter and sausage into your food processor and process, making a fine mince.
Add the cheese and eggs. Mix well.
Fill ravioli just as you would any other.