Bittercress - a hardy winter green

lathechuck's picture

You can read about foraging the common weed "bittercress", but I didn't see how to best harvest it. In the Spring, when it's big and lush, it's enough to cut some leaf stalks with scissors, but in mid January, the plant grows a rosette close to the ground. Individual leaves aren't worth the effort. What worked for me today (Jan. 16, weather mid-40s) was to select a plant covering an area about the span of my hand, work my fingers down around the leaves to the root, and gently pull the whole thing out (keeping the leaves clean as much as possible). With my hand wrapped around the leaf stems, I first knocked, then washed, the dirt away. When I was ready to put it in a sandwich (as I might have used a handful of alfalfa sprouts), I cut off the central stem and roots, and spread the rest on my bread. It didn't add a lot of flavor, one way or another, but I suppose that it had the usual nutrients of fresh greens (e.g., lettuce): vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. I can't eat kale EVERY day, after all!