Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lambsquarters for supper

Last week I went up to check the corn while my sister and her husband were away, and noticed that the whole field between the rows of corn was covered with healthy, luxurious lambsquarters. This is one of my favorite wild greens. Some people have a mild objection to the powdery texture on the underside of the leaves, but there is a flavor that reminds me a bit of oyster stew that gets me right past that little problem. I like them mildly steamed with a little butter and salt as a side dish - or (as you will hear about just about any wild green) of course wherever you'd use spinach.
It is getting ready to go to seed. Chenopodium album is what we're talking about here. The grain that everyone has been eating lately - Quinoa - is Chenopodium quinoa, so they are both in the same family (Cheno podium = Goose foot). I'm really hoping to remember to ask that a row or two not get mowed because it would be interesting to gather some of the seeds and see if they are much like quinoa. Who knows? It might be even tastier (and way cheaper).

The corn didn't fare very well this year. The stalks were stunted, barely up to my shoulders, and the ears were small. There might have been a moment there when the kernels were perfectly tender and ripe, but we sure missed it and went right to tough. Even the deer and the groundhogs ignore it.

Even so, I went up to the field today to gather a few cups of lambsquarters and a couple ears of the corn to try out in an "impossible pie." I know, I know... lazy. Who cares? I needed to clear some stuff out of the fridge and seriously love how easy these things are. I'm sure there are simple directions for making an equivalent baking mixture using whole grains - and I should look it up.

I dragged out the last of the older dozen eggs, some shredded cheese that I couldn't believe was still fresh, sliced ham with tomorrow as the "sell by" date, and set to work. I cut the corn off the ears and de-stemmed the lambsquarters. Then I added:
3/4 c Bisquick
3 eggs
1 1/2 c milk
1 c shredded cheddar
the ham, chopped
After mixing it all together in the giant mixing bowl, a 10" pie pan was buttered and filled with the mixture. It sat for a few minutes until the oven reached 375 degrees.

At that point, I noticed leaf tips sticking out and didn't want them to get crisped, so covered them with about 1/4 c (additional) cheese.

Bake 35 minutes, cool for 10, and eat.

This would be great with chopped onion, broccoli, and tomatoes. It is such a versatile recipe.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Oh my goddess that looks soooooo gooooo! Thank you very much for the recipe! When I make it I will let you know how its turns out.

My mother has the same china pattern!