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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Weed or Delicacy?

These strong green bunches are popping up all over the place: in my garden, in the yard, and in the woods. They taste like chives and my 88 year old friend calls them wild onions.

To the pristine lawn grower, they are a weed. To the gardener with a plan, they are a nuisance. To my dog, they're something to sniff and occasionally pee on.

While pulling these to make room for garden paths, I paused and tasted one to discover that lovely onion flavor of chives: light and distinctive.

That's when I began saving these bunches and even took a hike along a trail at Warren Wilson to collect a large bag of them.

A quick washing followed by an overnight in the dehydrator (see below, close up for my friend Penelope that asked what kind I had) led to several jars of dried chives or wild onions.

This dash of flavor is marvelous on pizza, in soups, on eggs or salads, and just about anything you can think of. Since they are dehydrated they'll last in these jars for a year or so.

Collecting this gift from nature was great fun. Instead of tossing something into the compost heap or just hiking past it, I paused and really appreciated this "weed".

Countless edible plants surround us. If you find any near you, I'd love to hear about them.

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