WILD GREENS VERDURETTE
Verdurette is a salty vegetable stock seasoning made with the sad looking veg you find either in the garden or at the bottom of your crisper. After finding limp celery and browning carrots in the fridge, I decided it was time to make verdurette. The rest of the ingredients I could source from the garden and lawn. Here's how it works....
You need to get together a quantity of greens and/or herbs. I used rainbow chard and parsley from the garden and went foraging around the lawn for edible weeds. I found plantain, dandelion, chickweed, fat hen, mallow and New Zealand spinach (make sure when looking for wild weeds you identify them correctly).
Once you have the greens and/or herbs weigh them. The reason you start here is that they will weigh the least and this is a recipe based on weight. Once you have the weight , say 180g, of greens, then you want the same weight of each of the following:
Celery or lovage Carrots or other root veg Alliums (garlic & onion family) Salt Weight out each of these 4 groups as you did with the greens. I used yellow carrots, leeks, garlic chives and celery for this batch of verdurette. Place all veg in a food processor (you may need to do this in batches depending on the quantity of veg and the capacity of your processor) and blitz until well processed; then add the same quantity of salt and mix well. The finished verdurette will be quite salty to taste and that's ok because it's the salt that is preserving the mixture and you will use the verdurette as a seasoning (in stews, soups, egg dishes, bean dishes, etc) anywhere you would use plain salt or a powdered stock mix or bouillon cubes. Pack the finished product in glass jars and store in the fridge. It will keep for a year. Give some away as gifts, too - people love cooking with verdurette once they know about it!
Verdurette made with herbs and wild greens is quite nutrient-dense, as well as tasty and versatile.
Keep all the off-cuts from your veg like carrot and onion tops, celery bits, mushroom stems, etc and place them in a bag in your freezer. When you have enough (the bag is full) make some vegetable stock or bone broth.
I also add dried mushrooms, seaweed, bay leaves and peppercorns to the mix.
If you are using bones, add 1/4 cup or so apple cider vinegar (or any vinegar or acid, like lemon juice, you have on-hand) to the water to help break down the bones. Cook for 4 hours for veg only and at least 6 hours, but up to 12 or more, if using bones.
Use this stock/broth in soups or stews, but also use it instead of water when cooking grains or beans/legumes to increase the nutrient value or anywhere you would use water.
You can also drink the stock as a tea - just add salt, lemon juice and a pinch if cumin (or whatever spice or herbs you like).