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Hedgerow Cookbook

spinach greens, shoots, stems and salad plants 5 4 Wild greens are at their best in March, April and May, when the young leaves are sweet and tender. These plants have been eaten since the earliest times it is only in the last hundred years or so so that we have narrowed our tastes solely down to cultivated vegetables. In many other countries, however, people still gather wild greens. Many of these plants are powerful spring tonics and will give a good boost to the system, especially when eaten in salad. Include a variety of these potherbs for a spinachtype mixture, or add them to soups and stews, stirfries, omelettes, quiches, sauces, sandwiches and spreads. Smyrnium olusatrum. Also known as Horse Parsley, Black Lovage or Wild Celery. A 34 ft high yellowgreen plant abundant on the coast. Use the leaves in white sauce, in soups, or battered and deepfried. The lower pink part of the stems can be steamed and eaten like asparagus. The upper part of the root can be cooked like parsnip and the flowerbuds can be used in a salad. op. Polygonum bistorta. Also known as Adderwort, Oderwort, Snakeweed or TwiceWrithen, it grows in moist meadows. Plant in the spring, dividing roots in the Autumn. Enjoys partial shade. Harvest leaves before flowering. A spring tonic herb, traditionally used in the making of herb puddings. Use like spinach and also in soups. op. Borago officinalis. Used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. The cucumberflavoured leaves are cleansing and nutritious, high in potassium and calcium. Add them and the bright blue flowers to salads. Attractive in the garden by a sunny wall. op.
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