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Ellen’s Savory Recipes

Cattail Flower Breakfast: Recipe

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. (more…)

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Foraged Spring Rolls for Spring: Recipe

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. (more…)

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Dock and Yogurt Dip (It’s like a Foraged Tzadziki)

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. (more…)

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Dandelion Colcannon Recipe: Two Ways!

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. (more…)

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Mugwort Steamed Buns: Recipe

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. (more…)

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Mini Wild Greens Quiches: Crustless & Low Carb!

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. (more…)

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Wild Greens Soufflé: Recipe

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. (more…)

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Pickled Black Walnuts…Don’t Waste Your Time!

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. (more…)

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Jerusalem Artichoke Fritters: Recipe

Is it a fritter? Is it a pancake? It doesn’t matter! The important thing is that the flavor is superb, and that’s what you’re here for, right? These Jerusalem artichoke fritters combine the silky texture of sunchokes with the unbeatable umami of mushroom powder to make an irresistible side dish. Bonus: it’s low on the glycemic index, and therefore a healthier carb choice for people with blood sugar issues. (more…)

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Wild Greens Pie aka Hortopita (it’s Greek, like me!)

If you’ve ever eaten in a Greek diner, you may have eaten spanikopita, a traditional spinach pie made with flakey phyllo dough. But unless you have a yia yia (Greek grandmother) you may not have tasted hortopita: wild greens pie. Wild edibles are part of everyday life in Greece, in fact, you’ll often find wild edibles for sale at village markets. Hortopita is classic, Greek peasant food: hearty, satisfying, and suitable as a side dish or a main course.  (more…)

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