Edible Wild Plants Recipes

(Also see individual plants in Edible Wild Plant Index)

Edible Wild Plants Breakfast and Canoe is a popular class I present to various organizations. 
We start with a Spanish Tapas style brunch, then canoe into a marsh and identify plants and
film birds and other fauna.   Here are a few of the spring recipes...

Tapas     Soups      Entre's    Salads      Desserts     Baked goods     Pancakes/Waffles     Salad Dressings

Menu

Basque and Spanish Style Tapas

 

-Tortilla Espanola with morels, wild asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke, with nettle  water on sliced tomatoes with salsa.

-Vegetarian egg roll in Autumn Olive, wild leek and mustard flower sauce.

-Jerusalem artichoke shoot tempura.

-Miso Watercress soup with Nori and Gobo (burdock root).

-Stinging nettle and wild leek lasagna.

-Paleo waffle with quinoa, cattail pollen, walnuts,  sour cherries, cranberries and Jerusalem artichoke flour. Served with butter and maple syrup.

-Wild ginger simmered in maple syrup.

Herbal tea.   Cold infusion top leaves of lemon balm, beebalm (red), Mountain mint, peppermint and lemon juice.  Fill gallon glass jar with equal amounts of leaves, cover with water, squeeze in juice of one whole lemon.  Infuse in refrigerator overnight or at least 6 hours, longer is better.   Good in refrigerator for two days.

Recipes:

Tortilla Espanola Ingredients: fresh cilantro, pepper, cayenne pepper (dried), Lawry’s salt, 4 T grated cheese, 6 eggs, stinging nettle broth (simmer three cups of fresh nettles in three cups of water for three minutes, cool), morels, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, roasted red pepper.

Preparation: In an oil sprayed iron skillet, lay asparagus, cooked artichokes and roasted pepper across bottom. With a fork whip eggs with cilantro and stinging nettle broth.   Slowly pour whipped eggs into pan over vegetables. Sprinkle cheese over top. Put in a pre heated oven (350 degrees) for 15 to 17 minutes. You may use the broiler to finish the top.

Serve on a tortilla, with tomatoes, refried beans and salsa and cilantro..

Vegetarian Egg Roll with Autumn Olive sauce ingredients: Purchase uncooked frozen egg rolls from and Oriental market.

Sauce: 1/4 cup maple syrup plus one quarter cup Reisling or other white wine, two grams of butter (2t), simmer, Add two tablespoons of Autumn Olive jelly, about a teaspoon of grated ginger, 1/4 t of soy sauce, 1/4 t Dijon mustard....Simmer and blend, serve over egg roll.

Jerusalem Artichoke Shoot Tempura: Break off early spring shoots of Jerusalem artichokes before the leaves open. Whip an egg (may leave out yolk), dip shoots in egg white, drop in bag of rice flour or wheat flour, shake to coat, saute or deep fry in peanut oil until golden

Stinging Nettle Lasagna: Use your favorite spinach lasagna recipe, substitute nettle for spinach or mix the two. Steam nettle for 2 minutes, then chop before mixing into lasagna.

Paleo Waffle: Mix 1/2 cup of 7 or 12 grain cereal (cook first) with 2 cups Bisquick (lite), add 1 egg white, 1/4 cup walnuts or chopped almonds, juice of half lemon or lime, milk.....Bake waffle, serve with butter and maple syrup.

 

More recipes...

 

Blueberry Soup  (may also be done with rosehips and other fruit).  Simmer four cups of blueberries in one quart of water for 30 minutes.   Let cool and squeeze through panty hose, cheese cloth, or a sieve.   Transfer juice to a pan and add optional 2 tablespoons of butter.  Bring to a simmer.  Add a quarter cup of brown sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg.  Stir a tablespoon of corn starch in four tablespoons of water and stir into simmering blueberry serve to thicken.  A shot of lemon juice and a sprig of mint and/ or lemon zest to soup is excellent.  Serves 6.

Ingredients:

4 cups blueberries
1 t nutmeg and 1 t cinnamon
2 T butter
cornstarch
brown sugar
panty hose
lemon juice
mint

 

Leek and Chicory Soup

Serves six

3T butter
1 large leek
1/4 t celery seeds
1/4 t caraway seeds
3 pounds of young, tender spring chicory leaves
5 cups chicken stock
1T honey
1T apple cider vinegar

Saute leek with seeds in butter until soft abt: 10 minutes.
Blanch chicory in large pan of salted water
Batch chicory and cool in ice water bath
Toss leeks and chicory together
Puree leeks and chicory in blender
Strain all through coarse sieve to sauce pan, simmer, stir in honey and vinegar...Serve.

Miso Watercress and Burdock Soup: Ingredients: vegetable bullion, two quarts loosely packed fresh watercress, one burdock root sliced thinly, 1cup low fat sour cream, 1/2 lemon, two whole wild leeks, salt and pepper (may add stinging nettle if you wish).

Cook ingredients with watercress and chopped leeks until soft, 4-5 minutes, cool, blend.

Add two tablespoons miso to every quart of soup.

Saute burdock root in oil until tender.

Chop chives over finished soup.

Stir in sour cream, about a tablespoon per cup....Or place a dollop of sour cream on soup, float sour cream on nori,

 

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup is a great cream soup (without cream).  Nutrient rich, delicious, low in fat, high in energy.

Ingredients: 

-2 pounds of Jerusalem artichokes
-cup white wine, Reisling or Gewurtztraminer
-2 finely diced onions
-2 T olive oil or butter
-2or 3 bay leaves
-2 T fresh chopped parsley
-1T chopped rosemary
-1 clove garlic or to taste
-2 T vegetable bullion
-juice 1/4 lemon

Preparation:  Brush scrub Jerusalem Artichokes.  Leave skin on.  Boil until soft, about ten minutes.  Set aside.  Add butter, diced onion, parsley (or cilantro) rosemary, garlic to pan.  Saute until onions clear.   Add bullion and lemon juice to wine.   Pour wine bullion over onions and other ingredients in sauce pan.   Simmer for ten minutes.   When all ingredients have cooled add in stages to a blender and cream the soup.  Serve hot with salt and lemon pepper.

 

Navy Beans and Jerusalem Artichokes cooked in stinging nettle broth, with mountain mint and Epazote seasoning.

Epazote seeds may be purchased from Meuninck's Media Methods or Richter's.   Click Epazote to discover its other uses and see a picture.  Jerusalem Artichokes are prolific producers.  Mountain mints is excellent for tea and cooking, especially beans.  Stinging nettle is a great foodstuff and an effective mineral supplement with a long tradition of medicinal uses.

Ingredients:

Two cups of dried navy beans
Two mountain mint sprigs with leaves
About 1 lb. of stinging nettle stems, leaves and seeds (late summer)
Four medium Jerusalem Artichokes
cup of diced onion
Chicken or vegetable stock about 2 cups
1 lemon
Seasoning: salt, pepper, or lemon pepper and pepper corns.
One or two teaspoons of borwn sugar

Option: 1/2 Jalapeno to warm taste.

Preparation: Soak beans overnight.  Add stock.  Cook nettles in a quart of water in a covered pan for 30 to 40 minutes.  This may be done ahead of time.  Nettles will cook down in the steam, discard nettles and combine nettle stock with vegetable stock and beans.    Simmer all day, or at least until beans are soft.

Saute artichoke slices in butter, with diced onion; add to beans in last hour of cooking.  Add mint and Epazote.  Squeeze in lemon juice to taste.  Before serving pull out mint sprigs.  Add sugar  (optional). Season and serve.

 

Pumpkin Sweet Potato Soup

Need:

1 (16 ounce) can of pumpkin filling unsweetened
1 medium to large sweet potato
cinnamon, fresh ginger
lemon pepper
vegetable bullion

Peel then add one medium to large cooked sweet potato to on 16 ounce of pumpkin filling (unsweetened).  Blend or mash together.  Add  juice 1/4 lime.  1/4 cup of brown sugar (optional).  Then add three or four cups of water where two vegetable bullion cubes have been dissolved.  Spice with cinnamon and one tablespoon of minced fresh ginger.  Adjust taste with lemon pepper and salt.

Cream of Nettle and Watercress Soup

Watercress

Recipe:  

4 cups of fresh watercress.

1 cup of fresh nettle leaves.

4 cups of chicken stock.

1 cup of low fat sour cream.

1 clove garlic

Preparation:  Simmer the leaves in the stock until tender.  Let cool.  Blend in a mixer with clove of chopped garlic.  Stir in sour cream, blend.  Salt and pepper.  Garnish over with chive,  borage, day lily petals or Beebalm blossoms.

 

 

Acorn Bread

Recipe adapted from Mike Huff's award winning recipe.

Start with 14 ounce Banana Bread or Pumpkin Bread Mix (Pillsbury).
3T of canola, olive, almond or other healthy oil.
2 eggs.
1/2 cup white oak or other sweet acorn meal (blend acorns in water to a pulp, squeeze out water, dry=acorn meal).
Add another 1/2 cup of wild nuts:  butternuts, black walnuts, hazlenuts.
1/2 grated apples or pineapple (if canned pineapple drain, pat dry, chop fine).
1/2 cup water.

Mix all ingredients, bake according to directions on Pillsbury package.  One loaf.
TIP:  Whip honey and butter in one to one amounts to make honey butter spread.

CATTAILS, Male Pollen Pancake Mix

Ingredients:  pancake mix and 1/2 cup male cattail reproductive parts.

- Add 1/2 cup the male part, the pollen, anther and stamen to 2 cups of your favorite pancake mix.

Try pollen and female parts in cookies, muffins, biscuits and bread recipes.

The young female bloom spike may be cooked like corn on the cob:

-Boil or steam in lightly salted water. Cook till tender. Butter and eat it hot.


Favorite Wild Food Combinations: Cattail shoots, saute with stinging nettle, violet leaves, violet flowers, dandelions, wild leeks and spring mushrooms such as Dryad's saddle or morels.

This is a favorite one skillet dish I prepare in the May when hiking or foraging. All the plants can be gathered in a lowland area with adjacent woods.

Recipe: Feeds four:

-chop ten leeks

-two cups of violet leaves and flowers

-two cups chopped nettles

-two cups dandelion leaves

-two or three cups mushrooms

-ten cattail shoots about six inches long

Put ˝ cup of water in the pan. Cook over coals. Flavor with two tablespoons of olive oil, a couple dashes of soy sauce, and if you have it with you two tablespoons of chopped Oriental ginger and a tablespoon of sesame seed oil. Squeeze in the juice of 1/4 cup of lemon. Stir fry until mushrooms are tender. Serve.

Paleo Waffle with Wild Rice

The simplest way I know to cook wild rice is to boil two and a half cups of water lightly salted, enter a cup of wild rice, cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes.

Recipe: The Paleo waffle is made with low fat Bisquick, twelve grain cereal, wild rice, walnuts.

Mix one cup of cooked 12 grain cereal with two cups of Bisquick. Crack in one egg white.

Meanwhile, cook wild rice for ten minutes until it is softened, but not well done.

Add the cooked rice to the Bisquick and 12 grain cereal. Here's where you can get creative. Put in a half cup of cattail pollen you have been saving in the freezer. Stir in the walnuts. Then squeeze in the juice of one half lemon. Add skim milk to thin batter. Spray waffle iron with Canola and pour in batter. I like this with maple sugar, sliced banana and blueberries. Raspberries and strawberries are great too.

 

Huauzontles (Lamb's Quarters)in Tomato Padron Sauce (Lamb's Quarters in Red Sauce).  Aztec and Mixteca Recipe

Ingredients:

Two eggs
Thirty seed heads with leaves of lamb's quarters about 10 to 12 inches long
Lawry's salt
One pound can tomato sauce
One lime
Cup of cilantro
t oregano
One Padron or jalapeno pepper

Preparation:   Bunch lamb's quarters seed heads together in bunches of ten and blanch for two minutes in boiling water.

Whip eggs and a teaspoon of Lawry's salt together with a T of water.  Dredge heads of lamb's quarters in egg.  Then saute in a frying pan with about a quarter inch of  Canola oil until egg coating is browned.

Sauce:  Pour tomato sauce in sauce pan.  Squeeze in juice of lime.  Simmer.  Stir in oregano, dice jalapeno and cilantro.  Simmer and reduce to taste.  Longer the reduction, the thicker and richer the sauce.

Hint: Have sauce made ahead of time.  Ladle over egged lamb's quarters and serve hot.

Wontons rolled in stripped Huanzontles heads. You may purchase prepared wontons in the frozen food section of an Oriental market. They may be steamed, then rolled into the steamed and stripped seed heads of Lamb's Quarters. 

Preparation: First make a sauce using this Oriental flavor principle: combine two T soy sauce with three T of freshly diced ginger, add T sesame oil, two T lemon juice, one T rice wine vinegar, 1 clove chopped garlic, 1/2 cup of water. Stew seed heads of Lamb's Quarter's in Oriental flavor principle at a simmer for three minutes. Let seed heads cool then strip them onto a paper towel. Let dry. Steam wontons. 

How to Eat: Dip wonton in cooled flavor principle, then roll it in seed heads. Expunge the wontons between your lips. Then do it all again.

 

Padron Peppers Stuffed with Salmon Mousse and Wild Berries

Ingredients:

10 Padron peppers (hot)  or Bell Peppers; SWEET PABLANO
One pound of salmon
One lime
lemon pepper, Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, crushed garlic clove
Blueberries, elderberries, raspberries your choice or combination
soy sauce
cup of Reisling white wine
4 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream

Preparation: Poach salmon in ample seasoning, soy and Riesling.

Bake peppers for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.   Drop in ice water.  Dry.  Peel skin.

Mash cooked salmon in Mayo, sour cream, and tablespoon of lime juice.
Then blend until smooth in blender.

Stuff peppers with fish mousse and insert a few berries.  Or open pepper and spread mousse on peppers, garnish with berries.  Serves 4.

 

Salmon Stuffed with Watercress:  One favorite of mine is steamed salmon stuffed with watercress. After washing the body cavity, stuff the fish with watercress. Season to taste and then steam in a wicker basket or Chinese steaming basket.

Roasted Pumpkins buds, Squash buds and Day Lily Buds

Pumpkins plants provide numerous edible buds as do other squash and day lilies.

Need:

daylily buds
pumpkin bud
squash buds

Pick the flower buds,  put 10, 20 or more in a bowl,  pour over a tablespoon of olive oil (more or less depending on the number of buds), then sprinkle on lemon pepper and Lawry's salt (lightly).  Roast in the oven or in your Weber.  Turn once.  About  5minutes at 375 degrees,  7-10 minutes in a covered grill, indirect heat.

Frittered Elder Flowers

Recipe:

Several clusters of elder flowers
Flower or tempura batter (rice flour)
1 egg
Powdered sugar
Cooking oil

Heat the oil on medium.  Dip the flower heads in a tempura batter (thin) made from the rice or flour, egg, water mix.  Fritter the flower heads in the hot oil (no seasoning).  Dab the frittered flower heads dry of the oil, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with black raspberries.

CAUTION: Summer flowers may be batter fried or eaten raw but be cautious. Learn to distinguish elder flowers from the poisonous water hemlock flower. Use a field guild and forage with a knowledgeable botanist. 

Elderberry Pie (Field Berry Pie)

Elderberries may be made into jelly or fermented into wine but my favorite is elderberry apple pie. 

pie crust
2 cups elderberries
cup blackberries
2 cups cooking apples
cinnamon
nutmeg
brown sugar (or maple syrup)
butter

You need two cups of elderberries, a cup of blackberries or a cup wild grapes with the seeds, mix the berries with two cups of cooking apples. Stir in three tablespoons of brown sugar or maple syrup, a teaspoon of cinnamon and a half teaspoon of nutmeg. Pour the contents into a pie shell in two layers sprinkle a pinch of flour over each layer as a thickener. Cook the pie topless or cover it with a crust (325 degrees for 30 minutes). Elderberry pie is a simple recipe that pleases those who aren't always easy to please. Other elderberry dishes and wild fruit dishes may be found in the excellent resource by Nancy Turner "Edible Wild Fruits and Nuts of Canada."

 

Salads   There's no secrets to my salads.

I grow Mesclun mix in the garden, organic.   Also, have nasturtiums, fennel, rosemary, French sorrel, horseradish, dandelions, mustard (flowers and leaves) cucumbers, red onion, broccoli occasionally, tomatoes, borage flowers, day lily flowers, malva flowers and a few leaves.

Use stronger tasting leaves in small amounts.  Salad dressing may be as simple as lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil.   Another simple dressing that works with wild foods is Marukan Seasoned Gourmet  Rice Wine Vinegar.