Miner’s Lettuce is Incredibly Delicious

Miner's lettuceFor a long time I had mistakenly assumed that the common miner’s lettuce that grows in the city (Claytonia perfoliata) is bland tasting, similar to chickweed. I had this misimpression, I think, because of my experience eating another species of miner’s lettuce that grows in the woods (Siberian miner’s lettuce, Claytonia sibirica), which is a boring but solid candidate for salad. But this spring, a big and lush patch of the common miner’s lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata, sprouted outside a cafe I frequent, and I grabbed a handful to taste, and oh my god! Wow! Succulent, flavorful, rich — it might just be the best tasting wild green there is!

I very rarely harvest greens that are near the road and within peeing range of dogs, but I am making an exception for miner’s lettuce because a) it is very seasonal and will disappear soon and b) it is hard to find in my neighborhood and c) it is truly that delicious. “Pee is sterile,” I tell myself, “it washes off.” To be extra safe, I tried wilting the greens tonight. I hadn’t done that with miner’s lettuce before, either, and — oh my god! Wow! It’s incredible! It’s like spinach minus the oxalic acid (what gives spinach its tartness).

Update: Found a clean patch in a wooded area! Score!

Other tasty things to do with miner’s lettuce would be putting it on a sandwich, eating it raw as a salad green, mixing it into a green smoothie, or pretty much anything else you can think of that you could do with spinach.

2013-04-13_17-20-12_109In terms of nutrition, miner’s lettuce has vitamin C and essential fatty acids. It grows under a foot tall even in robust patches, and seems to prefer street corners. I wish you good luck in finding a patch!

Then explore many more wild plants on the Search Plants! page.

5 thoughts on “Miner’s Lettuce is Incredibly Delicious

  1. Thanks for the report.

    I’ve never found up here in Maple Valley. I’m sure it’s probably out there but it’s not common. I’ll have to keep a closer eye out for it. The Siberian stuff is everywhere.

  2. I know what you mean. I couldn’t find it anywhere in my neighborhood in vancouver washington. Then one day there it is growing under an old pine tree. It doesn’t transplant incredibly well. I loved it so much I i purchased seeds on line through territorial seed company. No difference. I do a lot of trial and error growing my own wild foods, so this makes sense for me. They did best in the shade of the tree, and in my garden bed being shaded by field mustard. In the open I watched our local birds devour the patch not protected and being hidden by something else. The birds, my chickens, and even my dog eat it. They will eat it over other wild and cultivated greens. I am still partial to sheep sorrell as a personal favorite. Though miners lettuce and everlasting pea get devoured equally fast. I also look forward to hitting this patch of seven to ten blue elderberry trees growing right next to each other in plain sight. I watched them last year, but this year I’m getting those berries. Grest post.

  3. Pingback: Day 13 of April Blog love challenge | Linda's New Garden & Wildlife Journey

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