Warrigal greens (Tetragonia tetragonoides) or native spinach (native to Australia and New Zealand) grows too well in my veggie patch. They need to be harvested on a regular basis otherwise the creeper-like vines would overtake the neighbourhood.
Easy to grow, easy to maintain and extremely hardy, the plant grows and grows and doesn’t get eaten by slugs or snails either. It’s like having an infinity supply of fresh greens, all year round.
Its heart-shaped leaves taste very much like spinach but with a more robust flavour but don’t integrate like normal spinach when cooked. Warrigal greens can be substituted in recipes that call for normal spinach but the leaves need to be blanched in boiling water for a few minutes to get rid of the naturally occurring oxalic acid.
I made this dish the other night for dinner and it was an instant hit.
- A big bunch of warrigal greens – leaves only, thoroughly washed and blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes, drained and rinsed in cold water
- One medium size onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter, or half and half)
- Grated rind of one lemon
- Juice of half a lemon
- A fistful of roasted almond slivers
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil or butter in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic and stir until onion and garlic start to brown. Add the blanched warrigal greens, lemon juice and rind and mix well over a very low flame. Add pepper and salt to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the roasted almond and serve immediately as an accompanying dish. This is a fairly dry dish. The combination of the tangy lemon, the crunchy almond and the warrigal greens is just amazing. So simple and yet so tantalising.