Sunday, June 3, 2007

Good King Henry: greens forever

Good King Henry is a fantastic vegetable, unfairly neglected. It's a perennial green. My plant has lasted at least five years so far, yielding plenty of leaves each season. It doesn't get much care and attention but soldiers on anyway. (I do nip off the flowers when I happen to be passing; this seems to stop it from bolting and promote leaf generation.) It tastes a bit like spinach; the leaves are a bit rougher but tender enough when cooked. I doubt I'd enjoy a great steaming pile of it, but a few leaves shredded into one of my frequent chick-pea curries are nice and, no doubt, nutritious.

It has some excellent names, including English Mercury, Goosefoot, Poor Man's Asparagus, Smearwort and Fat Hen.

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