Every year is different. And this one has chalked up to start off impatiently slow and chilly ..and now suddenly all the plants are putting on their best dresses at once…chickweed at a mixer with the daylilies; deadnettle and stinging nettle dancing together?!
Mugwort or Artemisia vulgaris is soft and tender leafed right now and we have been using the mugwort soup recipe from Foraged Flavor (also online here) . We have also been cooking it in to pasta with a lemony sauce and bacon, or in rice and stir fry and with spring tempura. We also dry up a batch which Europeans used as smudge sticks to ward off evil spirits (and insects!) and Asians store and use the powder for rice cakes and pancakes. In Korea they even have a “mugwort” wellbeing spa.
This invasive Eurasian species is very easy to identify with the telltale silvery back to the finely dissected leaves (with many lobed, finger like projections), similar to chrysanthemums.