Results from Cavelab: 8 edible plants in my street (and 1 horrible cook)

30 okt


This is my street in the West of Amsterdam. It used to be an ordinary passage to the foodstore for me, but after my walk here with urban food finder Wies Teepe, I learned that it’s a culinary walhalla itself!

I gathered 8 edible things here and prepared two dishes with it.

1. Gathering

Look-zonder-look1) Garlic Mustard (Look zonder look). If you rub it you get the garlic smell, nice to add to soft cheese or soup.
2) Rosemary. Smells like shower gel to me, because I used to have one with this smell. Nice to have with meat.

IMG_13243) Guelder Rose. You can’t eat these berries raw, one needs to cook, press and strain them first.

4) Avens (nagelkruid). The roots can be used as cloves (kruidnagel) and you can eat the leaves as well.

5) Tomatoes, they were very green so I didn’t pick them.

rg_tree_hazel_catkinF_89296) Hazel-tree that has nuts now, I’m so surprised I didn’t see those before!

IMG_12747) Dandelion. You can eat the leaves, but they are a little bitter. The flower can be eaten raw or you can make lemonade of it, the bud can be prepared as pickle. And it’s very healthy: it purifies your blood.

IMG_13258) Galinsoga (knopkruid) is originally from Peru and can be eaten as spinach or in soup.


2) Preparation

IMG_1343I decided to first make a salad of dandelion with sauce from the Guelder rose and a little cucumber that I had. It was horrible! I expected the berries to be sweet, and thus nice with the bitter dandelion. But they were both quite bitter. Next time I would combine de dandelion with something sweet, like mango, and the Guelder rose maybe with some fried banana?

IMG_1346Quickly to the next course: Galinsoga with sweet potatoe. I wasn’t sure what to do with the stems of the plant, so I fried the whole thing. But then the leaves shrinked and the stems were quite hard. I must say the smell was quite aromatic and the leaves, or what was left of them, tasted nice with the sweet potatoe that can be a little bland otherwise.


5 hours later:
My stomach is doing fine, ánd I’m still alive, so that’s a plus. And I’m also happy about trying some plants I had never eaten before in my life. I need to work on my cooking skills, but that’s no news.

If you’d like to see what plants grow in your neighbourhood, check this website.



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