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Greens in Unexpected Places

 
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I recall a passage from a book where a plant breeder realized that Salsify, which is generally grown for its roots, can be eaten as a green. It was a moment that struck me at the time, because I hadn't really been thinking about plants outside of their typical usage. Since then, I have learned of all sorts of unusual greens. Greens that come from the flower section of the gardening catalog, pumpkin greens, Hostas, and even Kudzu just to name a few. I have a huge interest in these sorts of unusual and unexpected food sources.

With this in mind, I have a question for David Kennedy. Is there a list you have compiled of really unexpected greens that originate in plants we pretty much never use for that purpose? What are some of the ones that really raise eyebrows when people find out?



 
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I'd like to hear David address foraging (and preparing) greens in the city/urban environment, please.
 
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Hi David Kennedy! Is there a rule of thumb (green of course) to determining if the leaves of a vegetable plant, for example leaves of a pepper plant, are edible or not? I hear all parts of the pea plant are edible, dandelions, sunflower leaves? raspberry leaves? I have been making tea from some greens, but I think tea may be a way to get some nutrients from them, even if not using say like spinach cooked into a dish. Are some of these high in oxalic acid?
 
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for me the question is does it taste good , I want to enjoy my food as well as get unusual greens I use our radish greens husband is not so much a fan preferring the pods but I love the greens of radish especially re fried after a simmer with crushed garlic and a little olive oil or coconut oil , I also love sweet potato leaves they are very mild .
Hope to test hosta this summer .
 
D. Logan
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Susan Doyon wrote:for me the question is does it taste good , I want to enjoy my food as well as get unusual greens I use our radish greens husband is not so much a fan preferring the pods but I love the greens of radish especially re fried after a simmer with crushed garlic and a little olive oil or coconut oil , I also love sweet potato leaves they are very mild .
Hope to test hosta this summer .



I've known a lot of vegetables (greens included) that can taste great one way and terrible another. Canned or frozen spinach is a big example of this for me. The stuff is just awful to my tastes no matter what I do with it. By contrast, there are all sorts of things I make with fresh leaves that are delicious. Knowing the plant and how to prepare it can make all the difference in the world. On the flip side of that coin, I like knowing these odd edibles because in lean times, other people won't recognize them as food. It can be an easy way to have unmolested food growing right at your doorstep.
 
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