Whatever you call it, Lamb’s Quarters, Goosefoot, Pigweed or Fat-hen, is a common annual weed traditionally used for cooking in many countries. It’s easy to recognize and it has a delicate flavor. Cooked like spinach goes well with any dish. The whole plant is covered with a whitish coat, similar to a flour, especially the undersides of leaves.

Chenopodium album, Lamb's quarters, Goosefoot, Pigweed or Fat-hen
Chenopodium album, Lamb’s quarters, Goosefoot, Pigweed or Fat-hen

Where you can find it?

Lamb's quarters distribution (from: http://linnaeus.nrm.se/flora/di/chenopodia/cheno/chenalb.html)
Lamb’s quarters distribution (from: http://linnaeus.nrm.se/flora/di/chenopodia/cheno/chenalb.html)

Distribution: Global

Habitat: Fields, pastures, agronomic and vegetable croplands, gardens, orchards, vineyards, landscaped areas, roadsides, and other disturbed locations. Grows from the sea-level up to an elevation of 5900 feet (subalpine belt).

When to harvest?

In late spring the young plants infest gardens and the stirred fertilized soils. When sprouting, young plants are recognizable by the characteristic shape of the cotyledons, oval – elongated, fleshy, with red margins.

Lamb's quarters youg shoots - the first couple of opposite leaves are the cotyledons. The real leaves are alternate and rhomboid shaped, with dentate margin
Lamb’s quarters youg shoots – the first couple of opposite leaves are the cotyledons. The real leaves are alternate and rhomboid shaped, with dentate margin

How do I use it?

The leaves and young shoots may be eaten as a leaf vegetable, either steamed in its entirety, or cooked like spinach, but should be eaten in moderation due to high levels of oxalic acid (better not to eat it raw). It’s good side-dish, or you can use it in ravioli stuffing, savory tarts, risotto, dunplings and quenelles.

Storage:

Leaves frozen (lightly cooked).

Propagation:

A common annual weed of cultivated ground, usually comes by itself.

Chenopodium album L.

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