Magnolias are glorious. Period. When they’re in bloom, they punctuate the landscape with gigantic bursts of color and fragrance, and some of these flowers are quite wonderfully delicious. This past weekend was a magnolia bonanza, and there will be LOTS OF recipes coming your way. But the very first (and yes, my favorite) is this Magnolia Blossom Cream Cake. It’s a surprisingly simple recipe with a unique flavor that no one will be able to guess without a clue from the cook. Read more
In case you didn’t know it, I’m Greek. Well, half Greek. The half of me that cooks is Greek.
My point is that I love Greek food, and tonight I’ll be serving a foraged version of tzadziki at my monthly girls’ night dinner. Traditional tzadziki is made from cucumbers, garlic, and yogurt, but this foraged version substitutes curly dock leaves for cucumbers. The tart flavor and crunchy texture of the dock leaves combined with creamy, thick yogurt make an excellent dip. Read more
The fragrance of plum blossoms is intoxicating, and something I look forward to every spring. Plum blossom season is brief, usually lasting only a few days. Early spring snow, wind, and rain wreak havoc on these delicate blooms, so get out there and harvest as soon as you see them. Usually I make plum blossom liqueur, but this time I thought of infusing the flowers in cream for a floral panna cotta. What a good idea! Read more
Colcannon is a classic Irish dish. The name is Gaelic for white-headed cabbage, and it’s usually made from cabbage or kale combined with mashed potatoes. Traditionally colcannon is served in fall, when cabbage and kale are in season, but not being a cabbage or kale lover (who’s kidding whom, I can’t stand the stuff!), I make foraged colcannon in spring when I can use fresh, tender dandelion greens. Their flavor and texture nicely complement smooth mashed potatoes. It’s a perfect dish for St. Patrick’s Day (because it’s green!) or any other spring meal. Read more
It doesn’t take long to get addicted to the flavor of carob. Taste it once and you’re hooked. And if you’re lucky enough to live where carob trees grow, making your own powder is easy to do at home. It takes a little time, but it’s not difficult, and the flavor and smell of fresh carob make it all worthwhile.
I’m not sure how to categorize this recipe. It’s a little bit sweet, a little bit savory, it’s the size of a muffin and the texture of a sponge cake, it’s moist, it’s herbal, it’s terrific dunked in coffee or tea. Mugwort steamed buns can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and any snacking opportunity in between. Read more
When Michael was diagnosed with diabetes, we started eating a low carb diet and these crustless, mini wild greens quiches have become a favorite. I like to make a big batch, then freeze a bunch to have on hand. A quick zap in the microwave gives you a high protein breakfast, or you can pair them with a salad for an easy lunch or dinner. I’ve even brought them to a neighborhood potluck. No one knew exactly what they were eating, but those quiches disappeared pretty darned fast, so I took that as a compliment. Read more
The very word soufflé sounds fancy. (It’s French, and French cooking is fancy, right?) The mythology surrounding the deliciousness of this classic dish, the difficulty of getting a perfect rise, and the tragedy of a fallen soufflé, can all be intimidating. I’m here to tell you that it’s a lot easier than you might think. This wild greens soufflé is a wonderful combination of rich eggs and foraged flavors. Read more
Spruce tip shortbread cookies make a great holiday treat. There’s no reason not to make these cookies year ’round, but I think there’s something especially wintery about evergreens, don’t you? You’ll be surprised by the bright, almost lemony flavor spruce tips add to this cookie. It’s the perfect counterbalance to the rich, buttery shortbread. Many evergreens have edible parts, including pine, spruce, fir, and hemlock. If spruce doesn’t grow near you, substitute one of these other evergreens. Read more