Little lambs eat ivy! But kids’ll eat goat cheese strata

What little lambs eat may not be so good for kids of the human variety. But one kind of ivy is a plant people have been eating for nearly ever.

An edible wild plant

Ground Ivy

Ground ivy, or Glechoma hederacea, which grows wild here, is a real pest in our lawns. Its cousin in the kitchen is mint. And although ground ivy is a wild plant, for thousands of years, people used parts of it as medicine, to treat eye ailments, lung congestion and inflammation diseases.

But be careful before you experiment with ground ivy or any wild plant. Leaves, seeds or roots could be poisonous or even lethal. 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 in your area carefully, don’t take a chance.

Sheep or goat cheese

But you don’t have to know sheep or goats to love their milk and the cheese made from it. If you haven’t tried it yet, snap it up next time you see it at the store. SOOOO good!

Here is a recipe for a cheese strata using goat cheese. With only 22% fat, it’s a flavorful, low-fat cheese. I took this dish to a party last week and the guests raved over it.

Baaaaa! Goat cheese layered with whole wheat croissants

Goat cheese strata
A layered approach – serves 8

  • 1 soft-ripened goat cheese brie (about 165 grams, put  in freezer for 30 minutes)
  • 3 large, preferably whole-wheat croissants
  • 6 ounces thin asparagus, with tough stems broken off and sliced in half vertically, then quartered
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon in total of herbes de Provence (rosemary, thyme, and oregano)
  • 3 or 4 ounces of smoked ham, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Plunge asparagus in boiling salted water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and plunge into cold water. Then drain and pat dry.
  2. 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.
  3. Slice the heavy rind off the well-chilled brie. Then thinly slice the brie and arrange on the croissant slices.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 dish a taste sensation that can even be enjoyed by kids.

Sweaters!

Sheep trivia

“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 little one, born this year.

Surprisingly, right here on WordPress, I found evidence that sheep do indeed wear sweaters! Isn’t life grand? Click the link below and sing along with me:

Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy….
A kid’ll eat ivy too, wooden shoe?

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. who's running this place anyway
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 14:48:25

    Wooden shoe my foot! Hahaha 🙂 Love the quilt! I will have to try the strata – sheep and goat cheese are much cheaper here in the UK because of, well, all the sheep everywhere! 🙂 I liked the popcorn post as well! It was our family dinner Sunday night actually 🙂 We use a Whirley-pop on the stove with coconut oil and salt, but I like to add dark chocolate peanut M&Ms to mine 🙂

    Reply

  2. janderoo92
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 21:34:51

    Oh wow, that strata looks and sounds unreal. I think my little kid (baaaa) would love it, especially the croissant part. Love the lamby quilt too.

    Have you ever done a post about yeast and baking bread? I was starting to add that to notes for future posts ideas and thought – this is really a case for Vinny Grette!

    Reply

    • Vinny Grette
      Jun 04, 2012 @ 22:17:48

      Yeast – an amazing little bug. There are so many ways to talk about it that there’s room for everybody. I’m making some of that strata for my own little kids tomorrow… a true taste test!

      Reply

  3. Come Due Maiali
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 11:55:28

    Your quilts and strata are stunning!

    Reply

  4. hungrylemur
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 12:50:15

    The strata looks deliciously decadent! I love goat and sheep cheeses too, much more than most cow’s milk cheese.

    Reply

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