Spicy Field Pennycress

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Thlaspi arvense. Try saying it fast ten times. Thlaspiarvensethlaspiarvensethlaspiarvensehlaspiarvensethlas…. a litte something to do when you get bored. Thlaspi arvense is the latin name for Field Pennicress.

The “penny” in the name is a result of how the little seed capsule that looks just like a coin. This is the part of the plant that you want to eat. The stalk is edible but has very long, strong fibers.

Field Pennycress
Penningört. Foto Lisen Sundgren
Field pennycress

Enjoy the “coin” while green, the flavor is like a mix of pepper, mustard, onion with a slight bitterness. The strong flavor is best partnered with cheese, root veggies, beans, cooked grains or meat. If you crush the “coints” in a mortle, crush them with a pestle and add oil. Use the liquid as a wild salad dressing.

My favorite thing is to roast them quickly in a dry pan so they become nice and crispy, then sprinkle them over food.

Roasted Field pennycress, photo by Lisen Sundgren
Roasted Field pennycress

Field pennycress is easily recognized: it’s tall, erect, likes flower beds as well as the roadside.

Medicinally it is said to be antirheumatic, diuretic, expectorant and hepatic, anti inflammatory, febrifuge. The seed can be used as a tonic. In Tibetan medicine, the seeds are considered to taste acrid and have a cooling effect. To add to its gifts Pennycress has an antibacterial activity and is said to be effective against the growth of Staphylococci and streptococci.

It has been used to treat a range of symptoms variying from carbunles to endometriosis.  Use with caution: large doses can cause nausea and dizziness.





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