Ah, chickweed, wonderful Stellaria plant, how generous you are to grow so abundantly in the soil around us. I’ve eaten chickweed before, but I’ve never had quite so steady and large a supply of it as I have this season in England. I’m volunteering at an organic farm in Beverley, and that is just the sort of place to get large amounts of the best chickweed possible.
My first meal, besides eating it out of hand right there in the fields, was to make buttered chickweed – simple and SOOO good.
Just wash two huge handfuls of the plant and put it in boiling water. Cook it for about two minutes, then scoop out the blanched leaves and stems and let them rest and cool on a large cutting board.
While they cool, melt two or more tablespoons of butter in a frying pan and add a small onion that you’ve chopped finely. Sauté the onion in the butter for about two minutes.
While the onions sauté, go back to the chickweed and cut it up into nice small pieces, about an inch long. Add the chickweed to the pan with the onions and sauté a minute or two more. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ohmigoodness, this was incredibly delicious! I didn’t have any nutmeg, but a dash of that would be excellent too, methinks.
The resulting broth left in the pot from blanching the chickweed is also good, so don’t toss it out. Some herb books recommend making a chickweed broth to help strengthen children and convalescents. It tastes mild and has many minerals and vitamins.