This is an edible plant, widely used around the Mediterranean Basin to flavor omelets, pasta and risotto. Its young greens make a tasty addition to meals when stewed in a little olive oil, just like chards and spinach. It can be eaten uncooked, but the raw leaves taste bitter because they contain small and harmless amounts of saponins.

In Cyprus it has become so popular that in recent years people took to purposefully cultivating and selling bunches of it with the other edible greens.

If you don’t believe me that this weed is food, here is a quick idea for bladder campion pasta sauce (click on this link for the actual recipe): saute pancetta with garlic and onion in a little olive oil, add white wine and wait until the sauce reduces, then, just before the pasta is ready to drain, stir in the bladder campion greens, some tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste, stir it until the leaves soften a little and toss them with the pasta. Grate Parmesan on top and enjoy, it’s supposed to be delicious.

If your enthusiasm for foraging wild greens gets the better of you, I’m afraid I have to curb it a little. It takes a lot of bladder campions to get enough for a stew, and picking the tiny leaves can be tedious.

In Spain there are people called collejeros who specialize in gathering the plant from the wild in large quantities and selling it. The good news is that if you happen to be in a country where bladder campions are popular as a food item, you might find bunches of them at the grocery store.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.