Henbit

Spring is on its way! The sun is illuminating the east-facing kitchen window earlier than it used to just a few weeks ago. At nighttime, moths are thumping into that window, drawn to the light I’m using to make soup at 11 p.m. And I swear I’ve heard the quiet hum that, come June, will turn into the loud buzz of summer. Budding trees, daffodils, crocus, and…henbit. Henbit: the scourge of lawn nazis. In the words of Weird Al, “Just eat it!”

henbit
As I learned on last year’s wild food walk, henbit is edible.
My neighbors have a big patch of it. Wonder if they’d mind if I help myself…

sauteed henbit and spinach
Sauteing henbit and spinach.

Check out Bob Waldrop’s “Get Ready For Spring” song:
“Raise your hoe, do not betray. It’s time to take a stand.”

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9 thoughts on “Henbit

  1. I didn’t know henbit was edible! Why am I bothering to grow lettuce ;)? We have the greenest lawn on the block – covered in pretty henbit and crabgrass. I’m sure I will regret it in the midst of summer, but right now I like the green.

  2. Did you like it and how did you season it? I tried henbit a few times last year and maybe I should’ve gone with younger, smaller leaves or used more seasoning or something.

  3. Yeah, I liked it but it could have been because I had the spinach to temper the flavor. Or maybe it had something to do with the chicken fat I cooked it in? =)

    Besides chicken fat, I used some balsamic vinegar and dry pepper flakes.

    I haven’t been brave enough to try it in its unadulterated form.

  4. When I was a kid we called this purple verbena and used to pull out the blooms and suck the sweet juice from each little tube. I guess I’ve always known it was edible!

    • Dan: Yep! It’s definitely cook-able. Sauteed or steamed; however you like. I’ve had good luck sauteing it with spinach.

  5. Hi Tricia,

    I did a quick search and didn’t find reference to chickweed which also comes with henbit. Very delicious. I am sure you have used it, just another vote of confidence from another avid forager! I love cleavers but none of it grows conveniently in my new yard, so I must go look for some.

    • I’ve had chickweed, but have never foraged it or prepared it myself. I’ll look for some in the yard this evening.
      You love cleavers? I learned from Jackie Dill that it’s a great source of vitamin C. I think it’s pretty. What do you do with it?

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