Wildcrafting Wild Greens Pizza

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Making homemead wild greens pizza is super fun because pizza is such a popular food in America and it’s a great way to make it healthier, organic, and at least partially locally.

I’m not always up to super long, complicated dinners especially with minding our 3 kids at the same time. My husband, David, often likes spending the entire day in the kitchen, baking and cooking homemade dishes, but I prefer to be outdoors as much as possible on foraging adventures.

So if I’m cooking dinner, I’m always looking for shortcuts and cheats. I found a super awesome, quick gluten free pizza crust recipe where you only need to wait a few minutes for the yeast to rise rather than 1-1.5 hours or even longer.

Chickweed

Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a sprawling, delicious highly nutritious plant common in yards and gardens across the United States as well as in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world. There are some related, edible species as well with between 90 and 120 species in the genus Stellaria.

Identification:

Leaves: Round, opposite leaves that smooth (mouse eared chickweed looks similar, but is fuzzy).

Stem: Slightly hairy. The stem is often green on one side, purple on the other.

Flowers: 10-petaled, white flowers, about 5 mm across. Ten stamens with light yellow, greenish, or reddish anthers. Flower stalks are hairy.

Height: Five to 50 cm tall, usually sprawling out on the grown like a mat.

Habitat: Chickweed is a common lawn and garden weed, can grow in waste soils, and forests. It also grows in Europe.

Chickweed is often considered a weed by gardeners, but this nutritional powerhouse only becomes more nutrient-dense when mowed. So, cut it back and then in a couple of weeds, harvest the new growth for a salad, smoothie, or pesto.

Chickweed grows mostly in the cold season of the year, starting in early fall and dying back mid-summer, depending on your particular geographical area. In the winter, you can go out and clip bowls full of clean, fresh greens very quickly if you let this plant grow in your yard.

Nutrition

Chickweed is full of vitamins A, B1, B2, and C as well as fiber and protein.

Purslane

Purslane, Portulaca oleracea, is a common garden weed. You may also hear it called pigeweed, little hogweed, fatweed, or pusley.

You’ll find it throughout most of the United States, but it is native to India and Persia. It has been spread throughout most continents as a food crop. You can sometimes find cultivated varieties in the United States, but the tend to contain less flavor.

We purposely grow purslane in our garden so we have easy access to this highly nutritious plant.

Identification:

Braching: Opposite

Seeds: In pods and look like little barrels.

Stem: Red, round, hollow.

Leaves: Round, rubbery, usually roughly oval.

Flowers: Yellow, five petals, indented at the end.

Growth Pattern: Low growing.

Habitat: Likes full sun and good water. A native plant to India, but spread throughout the world as a food crop.

Edibility:

The entire plant is edible except for the root. You can pickle it, eat it raw in a salad or plain, add it to soups or smoothies. It will thicken a soup or sauce.

Purslane has a very nice crunch to it, making it a great salad addition. The sour flavor also gives it a nice, mood-boosting, energizing snack or meal. It makes a wonderful salad on its own, though since I don’t have a ton of it growing right now, I usually mix it in with some of the weeds I have that are more plentiful, like violet, sheep sorrel, and chickweed.

Nutrition:

Purslane contains 93% water, but it still is nutrient-packed. All of these are based on daily values:

  • Vitamin A: 26%
  • Vitamin C: 35%
  • Magnesium: 17%
  • Manganese: 15%
  • Potassium: 14%
  • Iron: 11%
  • Calcium: 7%
  • Also small amounts of Vitamins B1, B2, B3, folate, copper, and phosphorus.

And if you’re trying to keep to a low-calorie diet, this amazing plant only has 16 calories, making it one of the most nutrient-dense of all plants.

Dandelion

Dandelion was brought to the United States from Europe for its food and herb value. A digestive tea was made from the root. The leaves were used in salads to improve the Early Settler’s health and energy level.

This amazing plant was actually well known and used by ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans and have been used in Chinese traditional medicine for over a thousand years. Dandelions have been included in many stories and poems in Europe throughout history.

Dandelion was once used for all sorts of health problem, such as warts and the plague. The one that has stuck around for it’s proven efficacy is as a diuretic, a nutritional powerhouse, and helping cleanse the liver and improving digestion.

Identification

Flowers: The common dandelion flowerhead over 100 yellow ray florets and no disk florets; the ray florets spread outward from the center. Inner and outer green bracts are below the flowerhead. Flowers appear during warm spells in the winter in the southeast United States as well as throughout the warm season.

Leaves: Jagged deeply-notched, basal, hairless leaves.

Stem: Round. Bleeds white liquid when cut.

Habitat: Fields, lawns, gardens, trail edges, forest edges, roadsides.

Edible Look Alikes

Luckily, with dandelion, most of the look a-likes are actually edible.

Nutrition

Dandelion greens can be eaten cooked or raw and are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. They also contain vitamin E, folate, and small amounts of other B vitamins

Gluten Free Pizza Crust From Scratch

Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time35 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 Package Yeast
  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 2 Tbsp Canola Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2-3/4 to 3-1/4 Cups All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour (I normally use King Arthur)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375˚ F. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water. Add the oil, salt, sugar, and 2 cups of flour.
  • Add enough flour to form a soft dough. It will still be slightly sticky.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth, about 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to make sure the oil is on the top as well. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 10 minutes.
  • While you're waiting you can gather your wild greens and make the pesto, if you haven't already. Then wash so everything is prepared.
  • Divide the dough in half. On a floured surface, roll each portion into a 13-in. circle. Transfer to greased 12-in. pans. Spread so that the edges are slightly built up. Prick the dough all over with a fork.
  • Bake until lighlty browned, 12-15 minutes.

Wild Greens Pizza

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Chickweed or Other Wild Pesto
  • 1 Pizza Crust homemade or store-bought
  • 3 Cups Chopped wild greens options include: chickweed, dandelion, garlic mustard, dock, violet, plantain, and more
  • 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese shredded, optional
  • Additional Toppings As Desired Sausages, Pepperoni, Onions, Pepers, Olives, etc.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
    Spread pesto over top of prepared pizza crust.
  • Sprinkle mozzerella cheese on top of crust. Arrange wild greens and additional toppings on top.
  • Bake for 18 minutes or until the cheese is a golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Chickweed Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Almonds
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 3 Cups Chickweed
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper Optional
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan or Asiago Cheese

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth.
  • Add more olive oil until it reaches the desired consistency.
  • Enjoy!
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