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Heirloom Gardener: Different Types of Wild Greens with Pesto Recipe

Heirloom Gardener

The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen (Sean Sherman)The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen (University of Minnesota Press, 2017), by Sean Sherman and Beth Dooley introduces readers to modern cuisine of the Dakota and Minnesota territories. The book shares award-winning recipes that embrace locally sourced and seasonal, "clean" ingredients. The following excerpt is from Chapter 1, "Fields and Gardens."

We've become so accustomed to ridding our gardens and lawns of dandelion greens, purslane, plantain, and other wild greens that we've forgotten they are good food. Although it's unclear if dandelions, purslane, and plantain are indigenous, there is some evidence that they may have reached North America in the pre-Columbian era, suggesting that these plants were already being eaten by Native Americans before Europeans arrived. Add wood sorrel, watercress, lamb's quarters, miner's lettuce, clover, and garlic mustard that grow wild in backyards, fields, and the borders of forests, and you have a great salad mix — delicious and loaded with vitamins. Instead of trying to eradicate these plants in our lawns, we can just eat them up!

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