Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Scissors Plant is Good Eatin'...

Have you seen this plant before? A lot of people call it the "Scissors Plant"...because you can poke your fingernail through one of the pointy seed pods...then stick another one through it to make them look like scissors. Fun for kids and adults!

If you see the pointy seed pods in the Sacramento area they are likely to be attached to either what is generally called Red Stem Filaree/Storksbill (Erodium cicutarium) or California Cranesbill (Geranium californicum)(Not pictured). I'm going to chat a bit about Filaree. (The Cranesbill is also edible but generally not as desired as the Filaree)

The whole plant is edible...though people generally eat just the leaves and stems...and leave the seed pods. One could also potentially harvest the seeds as they have a have a high caloric content. The plant is a good source of protein and well as calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. They were revered by the Blackfeet and Cahuilla Indians who ate them raw or cooked.

I have known for some time that they are edible...and have snacked on the leaves from time to time...but was a bit put off by the hairy texture...and didn't find the taste exciting. Today I decided to give the plant another chance...cooked.

I washed the Filaree stems and leaves...cut them into no bigger than inch long pieces...and put it into a skillet with some butter. After a brief saute'...I added some raw scrambled eggs and cooked them as I would an omelette or scrambled eggs. I added some salt and pepper and then served it. It was awesome! I had read that it is "Spinach like" in flavor...and found that to be very true! The kids and adults gobbled it down and asked for more...but it was all gone! Next time I will collect more.

If you want to try it...please make 100% sure you have the right plant before you taste anything. Consult foraging books...or the internet to confirm you have the right plant. It should be a pretty easy one to spot. A great one to add to the menu!

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