Thursday, July 28, 2011


I have written more about eating Amaranthus retroflexus over at edible Manhattan - it's a mouseclick away.

But here is the recipe for morogo. It is a wonderful pick-me-up.

In South Africa, morogo - a Sesotho word - refers to edible greens, usually gathered in the wild, and cooked either into a green herb stew, or mixed with mealie meal (what we call polenta flour or fine grits, in South Africa, and a staple foodstuff). Selina Titoti makes this every now and then as comfort food, after wandering around my mother's garden looking for weeds such as thistles, pigweed, and other amaranth species, some of which are now cultivated in the herb garden for this purpose. Lamb's quarters are also good. Purslane is also considered morogo, but turns rather mucilagenous when cooked, so I only eat it raw.

In Brooklyn, morogo tastes of home, with terrace-grown pigweed and the occasional thistle.

This is a curiously addictive dish, and highly nutritious, if not cooked to death. Adding interest to the comfort food idea, is pigweed and lamb's quarters' reputation as natural anti depressants. Feeling blue? Eat a bowl of this stuff.

For a serving for two.

Splash of olive oil
4 loosely packed cups of pigweed, lamb's quarters, tender young thistle leaves (sparingly, as they are bitter)
1/2 a cup of scallion-greens, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 medium potato, sliced
1 cup water or broth
Lemon juice

Wilt the greens in the oil, add the garlic and scallions, pour in the broth. Add the potato. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and cook till the potato is just done, about 10 minutes. Season to your liking and add a little lemon juice. Eat from a bowl, with a spoon.

Feel better.


  1. What kind of thistle leaves do you use? I thought all thistle leaves had to have the pokey spines removed--and that takes forever

  2. Hi Daniel

    Immature sow thistle with soft tender leaves. Very good. No prickles. In South Africa we called several non "thistle" plants thistle, the trouble with common names and weeds whose botanical names I never troubled to learn. But Sonchus oleraceus, in this case.


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