|Lamium purpureum (Deadnettle)|
And here's a recipe for a green ravioli just in time for St. Patrick's Day! This recipe is adapted from one by Tama Matsuoka Wong, whom I mentioned in the previous post and who forages wild herbs for upscale restaurants in the New York City area. Her recipe calls for chickweed, deadnettle, and onion grass (aka "wild garlic"). It's called "dead" nettle to distinguish it from stinging nettle--deadnettle has no sting to it and is quite mild in flavor. It's in the mint family, so it has a square stem (which you can feel), though it doesn't taste as "minty" as spearmint or peppermint.
|Deadnettle's exotic, tiny flowers|
The University of Delaware Extension blog (photo above left) treats it as a weed to be eradicated, but it's actually highly desirable as an edible wild plant, called Lamium purpureum in Latin. In fact, right now, it looks like it does (in the above left photo) in our neighborhood. It's important not only as an edible green, however, but also as a very early source of nectar for honeybees and the wild bees or bee-like insects (e.g., carpenter bees, hoverflies, etc.) that later in the season will pollinate our domesticated crops.
However, if you don't want to use wild greens in this recipe, you can substitute spinach with the stems removed. You also could substitute some of the kale we'll get at Winter Market The recipe is very quick and easy to make, as you use pre-made eggroll wrappers, about 8- inches square, which you can buy at the supermarket.
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 1 & 1/2 oz chopped chickweed (~2 cups); if desired, you can substitute spinach with the stems removed, or kale with stems removed and chopped
- 1 oz. deadnettle tops, including flowers, chopped (~ 1 & 1/2 cups), or spinach or kale (stems removed & chopped)
- 1 oz onion grass (aka wild garlic), or substitute chives, cut into 1/2-in. to 1-in. lengths (3/4 cup), and more for garnish
- salt & fresh-ground pepper
- 2 oz. ricotta cheese (1/4 cup)
- 2 oz. freshly grated Parmesan [or Pecorino], plus more for sprinkling
- 18 eggroll wrappers, ~8-in. square
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil; add oil. Cook ravioli until al dente, 5 to 8 min. Drain well.
Serve topped w/ remaining 2 tbsp melted butter & a sprinkling of chopped onion grass (wild garlic).
This recipe by Tama Matsuoka Wong is featured in the March 2013 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine.