Popweed has tiny leaves. Cultivated salad plants have been bred over thousands of years to have larger leaves that are easier to harvest. However, many wild edibles are available all winter, and they are packed with flavor and nutrition!
Popweed is in the mustard and cabbage family, and tastes very much like arugula. A friend of mine with Italian heritage likes to toss it with hot pasta and butter.
Popweed is best uncooked, or cooked very lightly. The harvesting is the trickiest part.
Picking it clean
Have a clean bowl, colander or wire strainer by your side.
You may be tempted to harvest the whole rosette, because it is so tiny. That gets the soil that is embedded in the base of the rosette. Instead, grasp the top of the plant with one hand and give it a haircut with scissors in the other hand. Place the cluster of leaves, which should be dirt-free, in your bowl or basket. Pick out any grass, pine needles or other debris you don’t want to eat. Find your next cluster and repeat until you have all you want.
You can eat the whole plant, flowers, seed pods and all.
As the leaves are tiny, wash them all at once. Either rinse them in the colander or basket, or if you harvested some dirt by accident, fill the bowl partly with water, swish the leaves around, and strain through colander.