Continuing with my 'Season of Weeds' showcasing the hidden merits within weeds and wildflowers my attention was drawn to Cleavers this week.
You know them well, slinky little fellows that fan out where they emerge
from the soil and clamber up neighbouring plants with velcroesque, hirsute
bristles along the stems and leaves which radiate from the square stems and stick to your clothes when you brush past them.
Known under a variety of monikers from Goose grass, Catch weed, Grip Grass,
Mutton Chops, Robin Run-In-The-Grass, Sticky-Willy and the rather lovely
They have a multitude of reputed health benefits and are a favourite
springtime nibble for many wild animals and are apparently still used in some parts
of Sweden traditionally to filter milk which in turn infuses with the plants
medicinal properties. So what’s not to love about cleavers?
I wanted to try my hand at making fresh ravioli. I set about creating a
simple dish with foraged Cleavers, Wild Garlic and one of my favourite cheeses from La Fromagerie
which resulted in.......
Pea, Cleavers and Goats cheese Ravioli with a Wild Garlic leaf and Walnut
The results are in and the general consensus was that.......
A- The Cleavers were a bit grass-like with an astringent clean green
B- My pasta was improving being only my 2nd attempt at homemade and
needed extra seasoning.
C- That Wild garlic leaf pesto had a metallic taste and was no substitute
for traditional pesto.
I am noticing a pattern as to why the majority of us do not eat these plants
but I'm hanging in there with hope that I will discover the most delicious weed