When I’m wondering how to make a plain meal more interesting, I pull out a jar of preserved lemons. If I need a hostess gift, I bring a jar of preserved lemons. Simple to make, preserved lemons are lovely to look at and jazz up everything you add them to. Most recipes that include preserved lemons say to use only the rind, but I can’t bring myself to throw away the salty, squishy pulp. It tastes far too good to waste, so I use it along with the rinds in salads, pasta, and tagines. You can preserve other types of lemons, but the thinner skin and relative sweetness of the Meyer lemon makes them my first choice.
If you’re a regular reader here, you know I’ve posted a lot of sunchoke recipes. I’ve spent hours in the kitchen playing with these tubers, using them every way I could imagine. This year I went for something simple, and I’ll be darned if it’s not my favorite recipe yet. At first I thought it was too obvious to post, but a recent email from a reader convinced me otherwise. (Thank you, Mohamad.) And so I give you sunchoke purée. May you enjoy it as long as your sunchokes last (which for me is usually until about March). Read more
I can’t REALLY call this a soufflé, but it’s pouffy and light and egg-based, so I consider it a pseudo-psoufflé. Cattail flowers have a brief season, and for this recipe you’ll need to catch the male flowers before they open. Look for long, slim cylinders near the tips of the cattail leaves. Those are the young flowers, and they’re divided into two parts: male flowers on top, female flowers on the bottom. The male flowers, before they ripen and produce pollen, are a lovely, naturally sweet vegetable, with a flavor vaguely reminiscent of corn. This cattail flower breakfast recipe is a great way to enjoy a fleeting, seasonal flavor. Read more
I love it when food looks fancy and difficult but is really super easy to make. Who doesn’t like to impress friends and family with delicious, gorgeous food that actually comes together in a flash? These foraged spring rolls can be made with whatever you find in your ‘hood, plus a few grocery store items. And while they’re called spring rolls, you could easily make a different version for each season. Let’s start with spring. 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
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
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
When I lived in PA I was surrounded by black walnut trees. I love the ripe nuts in brownies, pies, and pesto, and the unripe walnuts make one of my favorite foraged beverages: nocino. But after multiple attempts at making pickled black walnuts (a British pub staple), I’m calling it quits. Here’s why you might want to do the same. Read more