Friday, April 28, 2023

Fun and Easy Way to Try a Few Wild Plants in the Kitchen

From our FREE 4/24/23 "Just the Essentials" newsletter that you can sign up for on our website.

 Incorporating Wild Plants

We were lucky in many ways to have had the grandfather we did, but especially because of his appreciation for found food. He suddenly found himself with 6 extra mouths to feed (Mom and the 5 of us) and he wasn’t above picking up that pheasant or rabbit that just got hit in front of the house, or snagging a couple dozen ears of very young field corn for the table.  He could always find fruit and nuts.  It shouldn’t be surprising that it rubbed off on me. For some reason, Maryanne is a little more hesitant.

We’d gotten away from those things for many years until we got involved in herbs during the early 90’s and somehow found ourselves at a meeting of The Herb Nerds on a farm across the Susquehanna river. It was a potluck, and the star of the table was a salad with pansies and violets.  Shortly after that, we went to an Int’l Herb Assoc. conference in SC, and I saw a book on wild foods by Billie Jo Tatum that lit my fire.  From that moment on, foraging was my “thing.”

 One of the easiest ways to get started is to ADD one or many wild edibles to a regular salad.  If you try something and don’t like it, you can easily eat around that.  I think they make a salad just beautiful, and full of flavor and nutrition.  The leaves that are young are most tender and flavorful. Flowers are a great addition.  If you decide to try maple seeds, you can use them raw, or roast them first.  The ones shown here are a little bitter because they’re large, but in a salad, sometimes a little bitter is good!
Mild but pleasant tastes:
    violet flowers and leaves
    garlic mustard
    young dandelion leaves (try flowers in fritters)
    redbud flowers
    maple seeds
Note:  If you grow horseradish, the leaves are good to eat before they're too big.
6" is perfect.  Fresh or in cooked dishes - don't miss out on them!

You could also try plantain, daylilies (wild), forsythia, strawberry leaves, wild mustard, pine or spruce tips, Jerusalem artichokes, wild onions, dead nettle, and other well-known greens/plants that may grow where you are (miner’s lettuce comes to mind). The list is pretty long and changes as the growing season progresses.

Here is a bed of various spring lettuces and some carrots with the foraged "weeds" topped with a scrumptious goat cheese a friend made with preserved lemons. It could also include radish, cucumber, tomato - etc.!


Want to make a special oil and vinegar dressing? Start with this vinegar. Use 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.  In this case we use chives, but you can use any herbs or spices.  Mustards and wild onions are good addition!

Chive Blossom Vinegar

Last but not least, we have a few seasonal items in the SPECIALS category that are 10% off through Sunday, April 30, 2023. Only items in that category apply.
Outdoor Survival Kit
Gardener's Kit
Printed Cotton Totes
Hiker's Releaf
Teas (Snuffles is great for hayfever)
Wild Foods for Every Table book pdf

Sorry, we don't ship physical goods outside the US.

The newest issue went out last week. If you are not a subscriber, you're missing some pretty great stuff!
Have a great spring. It's here.

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