On our recent visit to our local estuary, we found a lot of Bittercress about to bloom. Our chickens love this stuff, and so do we. A and M picked a few handfuls each, which we brought home for dinner. Since we started eating seasonally a couple of years ago, our fresh greens consumption in the winter months has mostly been in the form of cabbage and kale, no leafy green salads. After our garden’s kale died during our long freeze a few months back, we had a long Winter of Cabbage.
I washed the Bittercress, patted it dry, tossed it with some olive oil, sea salt, and a bit of A’s favorite California-style balsamic vinegar, then we sat down to eat it with our quesadillas. M cleaned her bowl of Bittercress in less than 5 minutes, a record for my girl who is normally a timid nibbler of fresh, raw greens. We were all craving spring greens, even those of us who pretend not to like them.
If you’ve never tried Bittercress, give it a bite. There’s probably some growing in your yard or local woods – Just make sure you’re foraging on pesticide-free territory! Despite the name, it’s not bitter, just a bit peppery; A and M think it’s “like arugula, only better because it doesn’t burn.” I hear that many people stick to picking just the greens that grow close to the ground, but we like to eat the tender stalks and almost-blooming flowers, too.
If you’re looking for more ways to eat Bittercress, Langdon Cook has quite a few posts you should read – Just try the search box on his blog, Fat of the Land.