as described Here
displayed her mighty powers as hunter-gatherer today and brought home a boatload of Japanese Knotweed
, an invasive plant species similar to bamboo and growing all over the place now. There are several places nearby our house that get infested with it each year. But as much as people hate the stuff, the young stalks and leaves are edible, and pretty good, if you ask me; steam the stalks and you get a somewhat mushy and lemony asparagus-like thing. The leaves are lemony as well. The plant gets bitter and fibrous as it matures, so you need to get it early. We saw a bunch of it coming out from under peoples porches in Somerville during our Open Studios crawl yesterday, and that told us that we should look around our way for some; it was probably ready to take and eat. klingonlandlady
was pondering things you could do with it; hummos/baba_ghanouj-like sauces, salsa base, etc. I tasted some of the steamed leaves and thought that the lemon tartness would work well balanced against a berbere sauce of some sort. (Just went to Fasika, our favorite Ethiopian restaurant last night). Needing some sort of vegetable dish to go along with the chicken i wanted for dinner tonight, i decided to be experimental. Here's what i improvised. All measurements approximate. Your mileage may vary.
Ethiopian Style Japanese Knotweed
Serves 2-3 as a side dish.
1) Steam 4 cups of Japanese Knotweed leaves for 10 minutes or so.
2) Chop up half a large Spanish onion. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil and 2Tbsp butter in a saucepan. Saute onions in butter/oil mix until translucent over a medium flame.
3) Add in one small carrot, sliced up.
4) Add in the knotweed leaves. Cook over the medium flame for a few minutes.
4) .5 tsp ginger powder, 2 tsp Berbere powder, 1 tsp False Cardamom, .5 tsp Mitmita powder, .25 tsp salt. Use more or less Mitmita to adjust spiciness to your liking.
5) Add in about a cup of water, mix well, turn flame to low, simmer for a bit.
6) Add in a sliced up small tomato.
7) Keep simmering until you get a thick sauce and the carrots are cooked.