COOKING WEEDS - Vivien Weise

This gem of a book gives some delicious recipes using local abundant ‘weeds’.. These are all vegetarian recipes, but can be adapted to whatever flavour diet you choose.

A few examples...


Serves 3 or 4 as a main course

6-8 thick square slices of wholemeal bread or pitta bread.
100g green spelt grains
1 large cup vegetable stock
4 handfuls of comfrey leaves (with flowers, if you like)
1 handful mugwort
4 tiny leaves ground ivy
1 onion
butter for frying
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
1 teaspoon oregano, dried,
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
1 teaspoon tomato puree
3 cloves garlic crushed,
1 egg
1 teaspoon French mustard
salt, pepper

For the bread... butter, mustard, tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, slices of tomato and onion

Toast the bread. Cut into each slice from one side so that a pocket suitable for stuffing is created. This is easier with pitta bread.
Grind the green spelt coarsely and dry-fry it until it is a very pale brown. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Then turn down to a low heat and leave to simmer for 15 mins.
Put some of the Comfrey leaves aside and chop the others finely, as well as the Mugwort and the Ground Ivy.
Cut the onion into small cubes. Fry the Onion in butter, then add the chopped weeds and dried herbs. Stir in the tomato puree and add some water to avoid burning (be careful that you do not use too much water, otherwise the mixture cannot be shaped into burgers). Simmer for 10 minutes. Shortly before the weeds are done, add the crushed garlic.
Mix the weeds well with the green spelt and the egg. Taste and season with mustard, salt and pepper. Add some flour if there is too much fluid in the mixture. Form into round flat burgers and fry them in vegetable oil on both sides until they are golden brown.
Now take the Comfrey leaves put aside beforehand, and fry them separately, 2 for each burger. Put one on either side of each burger. Season the bread to taste, like a conventional hamburger, with butter, mustard, tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, etc.. and fill it with the burger and Comfrey leaves, adding tomato and onion slices if you like.


Serves 4 as a salad

4 handfuls daisies (leaves and flowers)
2 handfuls dandelion (leaves stalks flowers)
2 spring onions,
3 tablespoons lemon juice
nutmeg, salt, pepper
4-5 tablespoons sunflower oil
30g sunflower seeds

Wash the daisies and chop the washed dandelions finely.
Chop the onions very finely and stir them into the lemon juice. Season with nutmeg, pepper and salt. Finally, whisk the oil into the dressing.
Gently roast the sunflower seeds in a small amount of sunflower oil. Blend them into the salad just before serving.


Serves 4 as a main course

800ml vegetable stock
200g polenta
2 large onions
4 handfuls yarrow
2 cloves garlic
200g flaked almonds

Bring the vegetable stock to the boil and add the polenta.
Let simmer on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring all the time.
Chop the onions and the yarrow finely and crush the garlic. Fry it all together in butter and season with pepper and nutmeg. Saute the almonds in some butter until golden, but take care not to burn them. Fill a greased ovenproof dish with alternate layers of polenta and vegetables. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Sprinkle with almonds on top. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees celsius (400F gas mark 6) for 20 to 25 minutes.

Dandelion Bread

Before making this recipe, you'll need to harvest a cup of dandelion petals. This shouldn't take more than 15 minutes with the right flowers and technique. Choose tall, robust dandelions that have been allowed to grow unmolested. Abandoned lots and field margins are good places to look. Generally the presence of dandelions indicates herbicides are not in use, but roadside specimens can contain the residue of other chemicals. Choose your spots wisely. You'll want to harvest in the morning, before the flowers have fully opened. Grasp the yellow part of the flower (the petals) and twist away from the green sepals and stem. Discard any greenery. I prefer the bread to the muffins.

2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dandelion petals
1/4 cup canola oil
4 tbsp honey
1 egg
scant 1 1/2 cups milk

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl, including petals, and mix. Make sure to separate clumps of petals. In separate bowl mix together milk, honey, oil, and beat in egg. Add liquid ingredients to dry and stir. Batter should be fairly wet and lumpy. Pour into buttered bread tin or muffin tin. Bake at 400 degrees. A dozen muffins will take 20-25 minutes. Bread will take 25-30 or more minutes. At 25 minutes, check doneness of bread with a toothpick. If still too moist inside, lower oven temperature and continue to bake, checking every five minutes.



2-3 cloves of garlic
2-3 potatoes
1 poblano pepper
Head of broccoli
4 ripe tomatoes
2 large bunches of coriander
1/2lb of tilapia or cod
ground coriander seed and cumin seed, turmeric and sumac spices.
salt and pepper

Use a big ceramic pot, that retains heat.
Peel garlic cloves and add to oil
Thinly slice potatoes and add to pot, covering with turmeric, cumin and coriander seed. Add a teaspoon or two of water and put the lid on and let the potatoes get soft.
On top of the softened potatoes, place the tilapia and add lemon juice and lightly season with sumac.
Add a layer of chopped coriander.
Add broccoli, and poblano peppers, and a layer of coriander.
Add quartered tomatoes.
Add another layer of coriander.
Make sure there is a small layer of water and simmer until veggies are soft and fish is cooked.
This tastes better the longer the flavors are left to stew, often best the next day.

Add hotter peppers to taste.

Gluten Free Granola

Gluten Free Oats
Ground Ginger
Ground Cardamon pods
Ground Cloves
Hemp Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
Candied Ginger pieces
Coconut oil
Maple syrup
Sea Salt

Mix ingredients together until well blended and place on a greased pan into a preheated oven on a low light, for twenty minutes or until browned.

Chicken or Beef Kebabs

Ground Organic Chicken or Ground Grass fed Beef
1 egg
Chopped Parsley, Coriander, Mint and Dill
Salt, Pepper,
Cumin and Coriander seed powder
Garlic chopped

Mix ingredients together and form into patties. Either grill on grill pan or sear in a frying pan for two minutes on each side and then transfer to oven at 350 degrees for ten minutes.

Tahini Oat Cookies

1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup GF oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon, cardamon, cloves

Mix ingredients together and shape into bite size cookies.
Place on greased baking tray and bake for ten minutes or until edges are slightly browned.
Cool and enjoy