Monday, September 26, 2022

Wild Food Adventures

My sister and I have been taking Susanna Reppert's class (she's teaching Rosemary Gladstar's course, and we get the "in person" aspect - and yes, we both highly recommend it), and next month will be our last class.  We will be sad to see it end!
Part of the last day involves a Wild Food Pot-Luck.  Maryanne and I have a lot going on in the next couple of weeks and were worried we'd miss our planned "weeds" so we started today.  We have a couple other surprises up our sleeves, so I don't feel bad about showing this.
I wanted to do pasta.  Here's what I gathered:

The nettles, violet leaves, and dandelion leaves went into a pan with about 3/4 cup of water and steamed for several minutes.  In the meantime, I stripped the seeds off the lambsquarters (a cousin of quinoa), snipped the yellow petals from the dandelions, and chopped the basil and thyme.
Note:  we mow the nettles so there are always fresh young leaves.

When the greens were steamed, I threw them and the water into my Ninja and liquefied them. 
Into 1 1/3 cups of flour, I added 2 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and the liquid.  After mixing with my hands to pull the dough together, I added the seeds, petals, and herbs, continuing to kneed for about 10 minutes.  I forgot salt, but it will be added to the water when cooked.  Then I formed a ball with the dough and let it rest while I did some other things ...

Which included Maryanne's project. 
Our neighbor came over and asked if we'd like the berries/balls off the Kousa dogwoods in their yard.  Ding! Ding! Ding!  That would be Maryanne's dish! We went over and gathered about a gallon of them. 

Next we had to squeeze out the soft fruit out.  

We then ran the 5 or so cups of pulp through a food mill, resulting in JUST the 2 cups required for a "pudding" type cake.

The Kousa tastes very much like American persimmons.  More work, but delicious.  I've made persimmon cake before.  Here's a recipe that I think would work for either fruit:

We won't have her cake to photograph for a while, and we don't have a pasta dish, but this is how the pasta noodles look on the dryer.

I cooked a few just to be sure they were edible, and they are delicious! A tiny bit of butter and Parm - YUM!  The addition of the lambsquarters seeds is way better than I expected.  They add a tiny bit of texture and taste great, along with all the other flavors. 

This was really fun.  We'll both put our projects in the freezer until the day before class.  I sometimes forget how much I enjoy working with the foods in the yard (or the neighbor's).


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What beautiful food! They both sound wonderful and I wish I could taste them.

Tina Sams said...

The pasta thing could become a real "problem" for me. It's so much fun and tastes so good.
The kouza was a real surprise. I've seen people use them for jelly, but didn't realize they had the same texture as American persimmon.
Now if I could just come up with something really fun to do with figs. Tonight I may make some fig fruit leather?

Rosemary said...

This was great to read about and see some of the 'behind the scenes' preparation of these wild foods. The noodles are so beautiful on the drying rack! Everything was delicious! Thank you!

Tina Sams said...

I'll be putting up a few more pics and the recipes later today :-)

Rosemary said...

For your figs, we share a recipe for a yummy upside down fig cake on Rosemary's Sampler that I highly recommend!