Quinoa with Wild Plantain, Dandelion and Peppers

I’ve been taking this permaculture class once a month. What that means is I’ve been talking with other people who are interested in strange, interesting and unexpected food plants. So we geek out.

I just cooked a dish with a plant that I grew up with. I used to play with these all the time when I was little. They’re full of little strings that you can see if you rip the leaf in two. It’s plantain:


Yea, so it’s a weed that grows in my yard. Another weed that I just learned I can eat is sorrel. I am totally in love with sorrel. There are a few wild local varieties in this part of the world. I tried Redwood Sorrel when I was in Robert’s Creek a while back. Then I found out that the Yellow-wood sorrel that grows in my yard can be eaten. It tastes similar to garden sorrel, with the oxalic acid giving it that strong lemony taste. It’s very beautiful, shaped like little red hearts. We’ve been making sorrel truffles at work, and I actually brought some sorrel from my garden in to make some. It didn’t work out though because the wild sorrel acts a bit differently than garden sorrel when you’re making jelly out of it.

Yellow wood sorrel

I’ve also been eating dandelions this year, which I’ve known are edible for quite a while. This is the first year I’ve actually gotten into eating them though. Here’s the recipe:


  • 3 cups water
  • 1-1/2 cups quinoa
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • a small handful of chives, minced
  • the flesh of 1 ripe avocado, cut into small pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • a generous amount of ghee
  • 1/2 bunch plantain, stems removed and chopped into very thin strips
  • 1/2 bunch dandelion, chopped into very thin strips
  • salt and pepper to taste

So start the water boiling. When it boils add the quinoa and simmer for 17 min. on the lowest possible heat with the lid mostly on. With 4 min. to go, add the bell pepper and garlic, mix in. The heat in the quinoa with soften and cook it very slightly. Add the chives and avocado, stir.

Meanwhile, put the ghee in the pan. Add the onions and cook until half-soft. Add the greens and a splash of water and cover to pan steam. When cooked, mix the pan contents into the pot.

Season to taste.

It was good. Quinoa and ghee kind of can’t go wrong together. The wild greens added an interesting touch. They take a bit longer to soften than softer vegetables like chard or kale, and are more bitter as well. They’re leaving a good taste in my mouth.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. I love sorrel and dandelion but I have never eaten plantain leaves! Cool!

  2. Love this recipe! I have never thought about combining Quinoa and ghee, and I have never heard about plantain leaves. So nice and creative! I have to give this a try 🙂

    p.s. I found your blog through Silvi’s chocolate workshops. Thanks for the link, Silvi, you have a great site with so many nice ideas 🙂

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