Last weekend I went on a little weekend getaway with my family. On our hike, my brother, a true plant expert by the way, gave me a wonderful intro into the world of wild herbs & edible flowers. He talked about daisies, red clover, dandelion, yarrow and ribwort - the last two pretty bitter by the way if eaten just by itself. From the sprouts I've been growing week after week on my windowsill, I knew that red clover for example is edible (at least as a sprout). However, just harvesting them plant from a wild meadow seemed too risky to me. What if I'm harvesting something I shouldn't eat?
Until now... My brother took away my fear and this is what I would like to do for you with this article. If you pay a little attention on where you harvest your plants, in which condition they are and which plant you're actually looking at, you're good to go. The wild plants I used for this article for example, all look unique and are easily distinghishable in a wild meadow. And the result? Not only will you get some wonderful salad greens for free, but you will also add tons of nutrients to your salad. AND..my favorite part - You do something for the environment by eating clean and green. Especially if you topp your salad at the end with a lentil Köttbullar which tastes magical and looks just like it's meaty counterpart! Read on!
As you can see in the images, the salad contains many different wild herbs and flower which altogether create a beautiful and super colorful mix. As some of them may be unknown to you, I will list them in the following and give you a brief intro.
Red Clover & Red Clover Sprouts:
Red Clover are the beautiful pink flowers you can see in the salad. The sprouts, in contrast, still look completely green. Red clover sprouts and flowers have a pretty mild and slightly nutty flavor. From a nutritional point of view, they are low-calorie, rich in protein, as well as phytoestrogens. As they also encourage digestive activity, make sure to balance your daily red clover intake.
In my opinion, daisies look wonderful in every meal. And they are also edible in their raw stage. As daisies contain different tannin agents, bitter substances and many other health enhancing substances, daisies were actually honored as 2017's medical plant of the year.
Ribwort, which actually looks a little similar to wild garlic I think, is another wild plant you may consider harvesting from your own or your neighbor's back yard. Not only does ribwort add delicious and mildly bitter aroma to your salad, but it also know amongst herbalists for it's particular expectorative effect.
Dandelion may be one of the most famous wild herbs. Besides being loaded with Vit. A, C and various minerals, the wild herb contains great amounts of bitter substances, folic acid and essential oils. Just make sure to wash your harvested dandelion thoroughly before adding it to your salad to make sure you're not adding any insects to your bowl. But that's it - Dandelion is a great addition to any raw salad.
I will mention from the beginning that yarrow has a super strong and bitter flavor in my opinion. However, it doesn't only serve as a beautiful white decoration on your salad (see white flower in my image), it is also famous for its anti-inflammatory, blood purifying and analgesic effect, especially for cramps.
Basil Flowers, Savory, Parsley, Arugula & Mixed Leafy Salad Greens:
To add even more leafy greens to the mix, I also added fresh arugula, mixed salad greens, parsley, savory & basil flowers. For the last two, I recommend to cut the flowers into thin slices to distribute the herbal fresh flavor evenly among the salad bowl.
Leafy greens are brilliant. However, all of them are pretty low-calorie. To balance the meal, I highly recommend to add any protein-rich side. To make this recipe extra special and convince your meat-loving friends that a veggie-day once in a while is a brilliant idea, I recommend "Lentil Köttbullar". Don't they look like their meaty counterpart? And thanks to the lentils, which contain 23.9g protein per 100g, you even add a great amount of protein. (In comparison, chicken typically contains around 20g protein per 100g).
Ready to explore more deliciously healthy, plant-based recipes? Here are some of my favorite meals, spreads and sweet treats:
I hope you enjoy this deliciously healthy summer salad with wild herbs, crunchy cashews, berry cream and basil oil just like I did when I tried it for the first time. Like always, I would love to see your delicious result and repost it on my social channels. So make sure to tag me on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook. Besides, if you have any feedback for me, questions with regards to the recipe or if you just want to say "hey", comment below or shoot me a personal message through my contact form.
1. Gartenjournal (2020): Rotklee ist essbar - zu diesem essen passt Rotklee (22.08.2020)
2. Gartenjournal (2020): Sind Gänseblümchen essbar oder giftig (22.08.2020)
3. Gartenjournal (2020): Spitzwegerich essen und als Arzneipflanze verwenden (22.08.2020)
4. Eatsmarter (2020): Löwenzahn (22.08.2020)
5, Blühendes Österreich (2020): 10 essbare Wildpflanzen für Körper und Geist (22.08.2020)
6. Gartenjournal (2020): Die Scharfgabe: Essbar oder giftig? (22.08.2020)