Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Another “Weed”: Lambsquarters

“A weed is only a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”

--Ralph Waldo Emerson


This crop of lambsquarters was the first thing harvested from my kitchen garden – before any “real” vegetables were even planted.

Not only can lambsquarters be cooked like spinach, it’s related to spinach and beets and contains the same nutrients – calcium, iron, potassium and beta-carotene, along with vitamins B and C.

It branches like a tree, and can grow as tall as ten feet(!) I’ve never seen it that big – three feet is as much out of control as we’ve allowed around here. It’s best to harvest when the plants are young (and heck, you have to weed anyway, right?). The leaves are diamond-shaped and look like the base and back of the leaves have been dusted with a fine white powder.

Sometimes the plant is called “goosefoot”, and there is actually a cultivated version called Magentaspreen which has a pink hue

Add lambsquarters to salads, lentil soup, quiche or any other dish normally incorporating spinach, chard or beet greens.


  1. We have it or something similar in South Africa. The name I know is marogo and is boiled in water like spinach and then mashed with potatoes or mixed with butter, salt and pepper. Delicious.


  2. What do you mean, "another" weed?

  3. Marogo: interesting, Misha. The potato dish sounds a bit like bubble-and-squeak, which is made with cabbage. It does sound delicious!

    DS, I'm doing a series of posts on edible weeds. Last week it was dandelions. In the NW chickweed and miner's lettuce are all over the place right now. ; >

  4. We get these in my parent's garden all the time. I am so glad to know that they are in the spinach family... I'll have to give them a try next spring.