Edible Wild Plants: Sautéed Fireweed Mixture

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I’m continuing my experimenting with edible wild plants. This is a side dish of stinging nettle, dandelion leaves, goutweed and fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium) fried up with some butter, onions and scallions. Towards the end I tossed in some parmesan cheese and seasoned with salt and pepper. I served it with grassfed beef and some leftover ratatouille, but it goes with anything.

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Fireweed (American) or rosebay willowherb (British) is a nitrogen-loving herb thriving on burn sites – hence the name. Stems, roots and flowers are all edible. It’s rich in vitamins A and C and iron. The plant’s been called “the asparagus of the forrest” and I simply love the crunchiness of the stems, lightly boiled or in a stir fry. The have a slight bitterness which can be dimmed with seasoning or marinade. Fireweed has also been used medicinally for its astringent effect, so I suppose it should be consumed in moderation.

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