I think the first crop out of my garden is dandelions. It has been warming up in middle Tennessee, and I have been planting spring vegetables and pulling the dandelions which are young, tender and perfect for a spring stew. The roots can also be saved for tea or a coffee substitute.
I like using cubed pumpkin, but you can also use any squash or even potatoes. When pumpkins go on sale in November for $1 each, I stock up and cube them for the freezer. It makes soup and stews really easy. Carving pumpkins are edible. They often don't have as strong a flavor as baking pumpkins but for soups and stews, or actually any pumpkin recipe, it works out fine. One large pumpkin can produce a ton of pumpkin cubes!
- 2 lbs of cubed meat (pork, beef or chicken - I used cubed pork loin)
- 2 cups chopped dandelion greens
- 4 cups cubed pumpkin
- 1 cup diced peppers
- 1 cup of beans already soaked or canned
- handfuls of other chopped spring greens that are available (like chickweed, sorrel, dock, wild garlic chives and cress)
- seasoning of choice (I used Za'atar seasoning made with wild Staghorn Sumac)
- 3 pints of broth (I used a combination of duck broth and chicken broth)
- 1 box of favorite small pasta
- 1 block of cream cheese (optional for creamy variety)
Clean and cut your vegetables.
|Diced dandelion leaves|
|Other wild greens|
Add all ingredients to crock pot except for cream cheese and pasta. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6.
|Za'atar Seasoning with wild Staghorn Sumac|
|Duck broth, darker and richer than chicken broth|
|Stew beginning to cook|
Half an hour before completion, warm cream cheese in the microwave until soft and add to crock pot. Mix.
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and add to soup.
Best served hot topped with shredded cheese.
I got a "Thanks, that was great, mom!!" If my fourteen year old son likes it, then it is good!