Lamb's Quarters (a.k.a. pigweed, wild spinach, or white goosefoot) are one of the early plants that were foraged for their medicinal and culinary uses.
More on Lamb's Quarters
The young and tender plants are best which start to shoot up in the spring.
Foragers know to look for lamb's quarters on the edges of roads, on newly cultivated soil, and near trash heaps!
Like in Alberta, lamb's quarters grow wild in the mountains of China and Korea.
Pro foragers know that lamb's quarters in high doses can be toxic or can prevent calcium absorption. Otherwise, they are very nutritious and contain Vitamins A and C, potassium and magnesium.
Ways to Cook
Lamb's quarters wilt easily. That's one reason to cook them like you would spinach. (Although they can be eaten raw.) Their taste is milder than spinach and seem to wilt even more than spinach too when cooked.
Suggested uses for lamb's quarters are simply sautéed like spinach, using onion and garlic as aromatics just the same. Also try combining these greens with other wild greens, so-called "weeds" like nettles or purslane.
Lamb's Quarter stems can be eaten too and are good to roast with spices.
Make sure to wash the leaves thoroughly since the undersides have a fine white powder.
Note: Different than lamb's lettuce (mâche)!