I was looking up lamb's quarter, intending to use it as the start for this thread, came across this excellent article by Susan Weed. My mom taught us when we were kids to eat sheep sorrel and lamb's quarter, but I had no idea there were so very many edible weeds. I always wonder what that weed was that made my hands smel garlicy when I was weeding, kind of thought it was a mustard, wasn't sure.
See link for entire article:
Weeds in Your Garden? -- Bite Back!
c. 1999 Susun S. Weed
.....Some of my favorite garden weeds:
o Amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus) Young leaves, old leaves, even non-woody stalks are delicious as a cooked green; chop and boil for 30-40 minutes. Serve in their own broth; freeze leftovers for winter use. Use instead of spinach in quiche (you may never to grow spinach again). Collect seeds throughout the autumn by shaking seed heads over a lipped cookie sheet; or by harvest and dry the entire seed head. Winnowing out the chaff is tedious but soothing. There is a special thrill that comes when you toss the chaffy seed in the air, and the breeze catches it just-so, and the seeds fall back into your tray, while the prickly chaff scatters "to the four winds."
o Chickweed (Stellaria media) Young leaves and stalks, even flowers, in salads. Blend with virgin olive oil and organic garlic for an unforgettable pesto. Add seeds to porridge.
o Lamb's quarter (Chenopodium alba and related species, e.g. Chenopodium quinoa). Young leaves in salads. Older leaves and tender stalks cooked. Leaves dried and ground into flour (replaces up to half the flour in any recipe). Seeds dried and cooked in soups, porridge.
o Mallows (Malva neglecta and related species) Leaves of any age and flowers (the closely related Hibiscus flowers too!) are delicious in salads. Roots are used medicinally.
o Purslane (Portulacca oleracea) The fleshy leaves and stalks of this plant are incredibly delicious in salads and not bad at all preserved in vinegar for winter use.
o Burdock (Arctium lappa) Roots of non-flowering plants harvested after frost make a vinegar that is deep, and richly flavorful as well as a world-renowned tonic. Petioles of the leaves and the flowering stalk are also edible; for recipes see my book Healing Wise.
o Garlic Mustard (Alliaria officinalis) Year-round salad green. Leaves used in any season, even winter. Roots are harvested before plant flowers. Seeds are a spicy condiment.
o Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) Leaves finely chopped in salads. Flowers are beautiful edible decorations. Roots of non-flowering plants, harvested in the fall, and cooked.
o Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis) Leaves eaten at any time, raw or cooked, but especially tasty in the fall - not spring!. Roots harvested any time; pickle in apple cider vinegar for winter use. Dandelion flower wine is justly famous.
o Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) Leaves add a sour spark to salads. Cooked with wild leeks or cultivated onion and potato they become a soup called "schav."
o Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) Young leaves cooked for 40-45 minutes and served in their broth are one of my favorite dishes. Seeds can be used in baked goods, porridge.
o Yellow dock (Rumex crispus) Roots pickled in apple cider vinegar are tasty and a boon for enriching the blood. Leaves, especially young ones, are eaten raw or cooked.