Lamb's Quarters Dip
Prefer to listen to this article? No problem! Four Season Foraging now offers free audio versions of articles with the help of a text-to-speech website. Simply click the play button on the right!
Lamb's quarters (Chenopodium album) is commonly found across North America. Often growing in sunny areas in gardens, vacant lots, and roadsides, it is typically thought of as a noxious weed. However, some varieties are actually native to the region. Furthermore, it is a delicious and healthy herb, often compared to spinach in taste and texture, and loaded with vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium! It can be eaten raw, steamed, sautéed, or used like spinach in a recipe. Below is a wild take on a classic recipe: spinach dip.
Lamb's Quarters Dip
You may notice that this dip recipe is missing something-- dairy! This is a vegan version of the traditional spinach dip. Personally, large amounts of dairy don't sit well in my stomach, so I decided to opt for a dairy-free version. It's much healthier and-- in my opinion-- much tastier!
Makes about 3 1/2 cups.
To give credit where credit is due, this recipe was adapted from one found on No Recipes.
1 12-oz package soft silken tofu
3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight and drained
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
9 ounces lamb's quarters greens (about one gallon ziplock bag, moderately packed)
1 medium yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
Salt and black pepper
Wash the lamb's quarters by placing it in a colander and dipping it into cool water. Swish it around, then lift the colander and allow to drain. You may want to repeat this process a few times with fresh water to make sure it's completely cleaned.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
While waiting for the water to boil, blend tofu, cashews, nutritional yeast, vinegar, and salt together in a food processor. It should be smooth, with a pudding-like consistency. If your food processor is anything like mine, it might not reach absolute smoothness, but that's okay.
Also while waiting for the water to boil, finely chop the onion. Pour a couple tablespoons olive oil into a 10-inch diameter cast iron skillet. Under a medium-low flame, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent and lightly golden-brown.
By now the water should be boiling. Add the lamb's quarters and cook 1-2 minutes, til bright green and tender.
Drain lamb's quarters through a colander and rinse with cold water. When cool to the touch, squeeze excess water out with hands.
Chop lamb's quarters into small pieces and mince the garlic. When the onion has cooked, add these to the skillet. Cook until heated through.
Turn down heat and add cashew puree. Stir constantly until heated through. Add salt, black pepper, and chipotle powder to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature with crusty bread, crackers, or veggies.