Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dining with Epazote

In case you've got a lot of epazote growing in your garden and don't really know what to do with it, I have a suggestion. By all means cook with it! Just before the freeze we had here, my Sweetie collected all the nice green epazote leaves growing in the garden. After washing them thoroughly, I set them out to dry on paper towels. I recalled how one day a lady had told me she used it in quesadillas, which are basically corn or flour tortillas with a filling of cheese which is melted within the tortillas over a skillet or comal. I had made a post about that before. Unfortunately the photos I had used are no longer in my Flicker account. Anyway, at the time, I had some concerns about whether it could be detrimental to eat large amounts of epazote. Up until then we basically used the epazote for adding to a pot of beans, much the way you would add salt pork.

Well, seeing as how we had already used epazote in our own quesadillas, and no harm had befallen us, I figured I'd use our latest batch as well. We had some leftover smoked ham from the Holidays in the freezer, so I diced that up into small pieces, pan fried until nice and brown, added some diced onions and let them caramelize a bit, added epazote and spinach leaves, lots of them if you please, sauteed that as well., then added some whisked eggs. Once cooked, I added a little bit of cheese to melt over that.....turned out mighty tasty! And I got up from the table feeling good that I had incorporated some greens to our meal. Epazote leaves- not just for beans any more! The picture above is courtesy of the herbivoracious website. Their version includes poblano peppers, which I would have added if I had them in stock. I am so glad I didn't get rid of this 'weedy' herb. It can just seed itself so easily, there'll be times you want to get rid of it. But don't. Just harvest it, rinse, and set out to dry. Turn the leaves every so often so they dry evenly. It will take several days before they become dry and brittle, but then you can store and use like any dry herb. If you check any of the online herb sites, you'll see that it can be a pretty expensive herb to buy. It's not hard and it's best to grow your own.


Georgina said...

I always wondered what it was. I remember years ago, I wanted to make Caldo de Res from this wonderful cookbook my aunt brought me back from the Smithsonian...great Mexican recipes. It asked for it and I didn't know what it was and surprisingly, no one around here had ever heard of it.

Many years later, I found it at my favorite little Mexican grocery store in small packages. Can you tell us how it enhances the flavour of a have peaked my curiosity!!

Have a wonderful day.


YayaOrchid said...

Georginna, on the link in the post, I had to agree with their description of how it enhances a meal. In beans, you can't describe it, but it is like a 'meatier' taste. Beans just taste better, especially when you refry them. In the eggs, it's just a rather 'herbal' taste, but very subtle. In quesadillas is where you'd probably be more able to really pick up the 'piney' taste. For me the biggest draw is that it's supposed to be good for you.

Gloria said...

Hi Yaya. Wow! Thank you for all the info on Epazote. I'll be putting my seeds out when it is early Spring. I can hardly wait. It is a perennial, right. Now I have the instructions on what todo with the leaves once dry. Can you hang them up to dry like you would do lavender? Thanks again for the info and have a great day.

YayaOrchid said...

Gloria, I didn't hang mine up because we just harvest the leaves. But I'm thinking it would work well that way. But then you probably couldn't rinse them. I rinse mine because there's always so much dirt flying around where I live.

p.s. I think you should try planting some seeds already. Epazote is a pretty hardy plant. Just try a few.

Renee said...

That is a beautiful bible passage from Romans dear Yaya.

Love Renee xoxo

YayaOrchid said...

Hi, Renee! Good to see you stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed the Scripture.


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