Thursday, April 30, 2009

Foraging for Wild Edible Plants

I don't know about you, but after this long cold winter I am craving GREEN anything! There is something so adventurous about foraging for wild greens not to mention that wild edibles are usually mineral and vitamin rich.

Warm Lentil and Lamb's-Quarters Salad with Feta
4 cups of water
1 1/4 cups dried lentils
2 Tbsps olive oil
2 Tbsps water
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp dried whole oregano
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 small garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
3 cups lamb's -quarters, well washed

Combine 4 cups water and lentils in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside. Combine 2 Tbsps water, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic in a medium bowl. Add lentils, cheese and lamb's-quarters, toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature. 4 one cup servings.

Dandelions- Dandelion greens, usually found in early May and you don't need to go much farther than your lawn to find them. They are rich in Vit A.

Fiddleheads- From the ostrich fern, it is a Maine tradition. Boiled in lightly salted water and then tossed with butter. Delicious!

Lamb's Quarters " Pigweed"- gather the young shoots with leaves in summer. Pigweed grows all across Maine. Cook much the same as Fiddleheads.

Orache-Found only along salty marshes and tidal rivers, collect in late spring to early summer.
Salty taste , good mixed with other greens.

Purslane- A garden weed, that grows flat and fleshy leaves. Cooked much like spinach but won't lose its bulk like spinach.

You can see illustrations of these plants along with more info and recipes at this link:

A good book by a well known author who is very in tune with our wilderness both flora and fauna is " Tom Brown's Field Guide- Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants"

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