Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 at
Mountain parsley, or biscuitroot, gathered near 11,000 feet in Fairplay, Colorado last summer.
This summer, I’ll be drying more leaves.
Last season’s nettles were a no-brainer, and they disappeared from my pantry shelves fast—in the form of tea and a much-loved pumpkin nettle beer soup. But what of the other leafy greens I enjoy all summer long? Could they help to tide over a fanatical forager during the long winter months?
Inspired by Maria’s post on Lessons from the Pantry, I piled my few bottles of dried leaves on the counter last night and set to work experimenting in the hopes of determining which dried leaves merited the effort.
Here’s what I came up with:
Salted Bluebell Leaf Chips
A recent insinuation of cheesy kale chips into my life from multiple directions inspired this attempt to recreate leafy green veggie chips from a wild edible angle.
I painted the light-green, dried smooth bluebell leaves (Mertensia spp.) with a thin coat of olive oil—though a spritzer would have been ideal—then sprinkled black Hawaiian lava salt on top in the hopes of drawing out the leaves’ oceany flavor. Then I crisped them on low heat in the toaster oven—actually I crisped them at high heat and a few of them burned before I turned it down—and served to the curious fiancé. Read the rest of this entry
Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 at
And just when you thought it’d never arrive… The June 2012 Wild Edible Notebook is here!
This edition centers on two plants—bluebells of the genus Mertensia followed by field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense), a plant that means much to me, though I’d written little about it prior to this release. Gregg says it’s the best one yet, though he said that last month too.
As with all other Wild Edible Notebooks, if you want to read it, you have to download it—and that means joining the list if you haven’t already.
How to Join the List
If you go through the process to join the list you will receive one (at most two) emails from me a month. You can unsubscribe whenever you want. To join, scroll to the bottom of this page and fill in your info. You’ll receive an email asking you to click on a confirmation link, and after doing that, you’ll get another email with the download link for the latest issue of the Wild Edible Notebook—in your choice of either a handy print-and-fold booklet or a file you can breeze through onscreen or print out one-sided. You’ll be able to access some prior notebooks as well.
Take advantage of free advertising via the Wild Edible Notebook. This offer is open to both established purveyors of wild food products/equipment as well as individuals with classified ads. These will be free of charge until further notice, so please, send them my way and I’ll try to get you in the next issue.
Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 at
A delicious and attractive wild stir fry.
Yesterday I experienced the somewhat unique problem of having too many bags of wild edible plants in my refrigerator and not enough “normal” food with which to make lunch. So I improvised—and it worked out surprisingly well.
When In Doubt, Stir Fry
My most successful stir fry in recent months, then, involved sautéing finely chopped red onions and fireweed shoots for 10 minutes in olive oil, then adding yucca petals and Mertensia leaves, sautéing for another 5 minutes, and serving with noodles.
Normally I add a sauce to my stir fries, but this time I didn’t season it at all. Yucca was the dominant flavor, followed by the onions and olive oil. The fireweed shoots made for a nice, crispy texture, and although the Mertensia leaves lost the mild oyster-like flavor they have when raw, upon cooking they turned a beautiful bright green that made the dish look fantastic.
Here are some more details on the wild ingredients: Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 at
What I believe to be roseroot, or Sedum rosea.
I first noticed roseroot on a high-country hike above Fairplay, Colorado as Gregg and I were scrambling up a rock face, off-trail as usual. The plant is distinctive and attractive—tiny, blood-red flowers atop a fleshy stalk with spirally overlapping (Peterson, 1977) succulent, white-green leaves—and so I photographed it to look up later in Plants of the Rocky Mountains, a flora identification guide we obtained recently from The Printed Page bookshop in Denver.
Plants of the Rocky Mountains by Linda Kershaw, et. al. (1998) is not specific to edible wild plants, but when I found the plant in question in the picture index followed by the entry, lo and behold, I also discovered that our local roseroot is edible. (A quick perusal of the new guide revealed that edibility information is included for many of the plants, to my very pleasant surprise. Come to find out that Linda Kershaw also authored Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rockies, a guide I have yet to obtain.) What luck! Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 at
A pretty bluebell of the genus Mertensia.
[This is an updated version of an entry posted at etmarciniec.com]
Quite a few people have told me that “bluebells” are edible, and yet, despite my growing collection of books on wild edible plants, I’ve only found one reference to them as a food source.
“The leaves are awesome,” my friend Rachel Sowers, a gardener by trade, told me as we rode up the chairlift near the season’s end at Arapahoe Basin. “If you’re camping in the backcountry you can add the leaves to a salad. They’re super tasty.”
And, a friend of Gregg’s sister “goes gaga for bluebells,” as she put it, but has also, on occasion, eaten enough of the bright bell-shaped flowers to become sick.
Last summer I tasted a few bluebells at Gregg’s behest because he, too, recalls eating them, although he was unable to remember when or how he came by the knowledge of their edibility.
Read the rest of this entry