Maybe before you go popping just any old ivy into your mouth, you should learn a little about what you’re eating. What’s good for lambs and baby goats, otherwise known as kids, may not be so good for kids of the human variety.
One kind of ivy, though, ground ivy in particular, is a plant people have been eating for nearly ever. Who knew!
Where I live, ground ivy runs all through our lawns… a real pest! Its cousin is mint, a plant you probably know a lot more about than ground ivy. But just because ground ivy has a well-known relative doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat. The problem is: with plants, you can’t just go eating the whole thing willy nilly. Parts of it may be tasty, as well as good for what ails you. In fact for thousands of years, people used parts of ground ivy as medicine, to treat eye ailments, lung congestion and inflammation diseases. But other parts could be poisonous or even lethal, like the leaves of rhubarb are. You have to know the wild plants you eat. If you know ground ivy, here’s an interesting recipe using the leaves. If you haven’t studied wild plants carefully, don’t take a chance.
But getting back to sheep and goats… “I love ewe,” say the sheep in my photo, as they knit sweaters for their young ones. I made this counting-sheep-to-get-to-sleep quilt using free-motion machine stitching. It’s for our own young one, expected to be making an appearance in the family in June. Surprisingly, right here on WordPress, I found evidence that sheep do indeed wear sweaters! Isn’t life grand?
Now let’s get cooking!
For me, the real prize we get from sheep and goats is cheese made from their milk. SOOOO good! If you see goat or sheep cheese at a farmers market or at the local cheese shop, snap it up. You will be knocked over by the deliciousness of it.
Here is a recipe for a cheese strata using goat cheese with only 22% fat. That’s a pretty-low-fat cheese. I took this dish to a party last week and the guests raved over it! I think you will too.
A layered approach to a goat cheese strata
1 soft-ripened goat cheese brie (made from pasteurized goat milk, about 165 grams, put in freezer for 30 minutes)
3 large whole-wheat croissants
6 oz thin asparagus, with tough stems broken off and sliced in half then quartered
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon in total of herbes de Provence (rosemary, thyme, and oregano)
3 0r 4 ounces of smoked ham, chopped
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 teaspoons mustard
1/4 tsp salt
Plunge asparagus in boiling salted water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and plunge into cold water. Then drain and pat dry.
Slice each croissant in half. Line a well-oiled 1 1/2-litre oven-proof baking dish with three or four of the slices. Break the remaining slices into bite-sized pieces and reserve.
Slice the heavy rind off the well-chilled brie. Then thinly slice the brie and arrange on the croissant slices.
Sprinkle with half the tarragon and herbs mixture. Spread half the ham and asparagus over the herbs. Top with the croissant pieces and press down hard. Finish with the remaining ham, asparagus, and herbs on top.
Wisk the eggs with the mustard, milk and salt. Gradually pour the liquid evenly over the layered croissants until it’s absorbed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F. Remove the plastic wrap and put the cold strata in the oven. Cover with a piece of tin foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Then uncover and continue baking for 30 minutes more, or until the strata is puffed and golden and the centre seems set when jiggled. Let strata sit for 10 minutes before serving.
This is a wonderful make-ahead dish for a crowd. The fresh flavors make this a taste sensation that can even be enjoyed by kids.
Before you leave me now, why not check out the song I’ve used to introduce both my last post and this one, Mairzy Doats… If you haven’t heard this crazy ditty before and have no idea what the heck I am talking about, be sure to click through to You tube and listen up… Lala-lala la. It makes for nice background music to your healthy dinner made from oats, goat cheese, or even ground ivy. Enjoy!
Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy….
A kid’ll eat ivy too, wooden shoe?