This week’s share:
- day lily tubers
- wild carrots
- red clover blossoms
- violet leaves
Day lily tubers are new to your share this week. They are found among the roots of these bright orange lilies, which are often planted but are also often found “escaped” or wild. The tubers can be dug and eaten year round (as long as the ground is not frozen.) The young white ones are the most delicate and delicious, but the older yellow ones are good, too. When choosing the tubers, just make sure they are nice and hard. They will be crisp, crunchy and delicious. They can be eaten raw (they do not have to be peeled), or boil in salt water like new potatoes. They don’t take very long to cook. Definitely try them raw first - they are yummy.
Also new this week: Wild Carrots! (Also called Queen Anne’s Lace.) The botanical name is Daucus carota, which you may notice is the exact same species as cultivated carrot. Cultivated carrots differ only in subspecies…this is really the same plant. You will notice the carrot smell. We recommend great caution when harvesting this plant because of its similarity in appearance to the deadly poison hemlock. This is one mistake no one wants to make! However, there are some main differences. One is the carrot smell. The next is that you will see little hairs along the stalk of wild carrot; poison hemlock is completely hairless. Poison hemlock also has a mottled stalk (mottled with purple dots). The flowers are very similar as are the flowers of another deadly plant (which is blooming now): water hemlock. (I have seen water hemlock in Schenley park and poison hemlock everywhere this year: road sides, south side river trail, Frick park so please be careful!) Some people feel that the dark petal in the middle of the wild carrot flower helps them identify it, but that isn’t quite as reliable an indicator.
Some people are sensitive to carrot greens, but I do like to eat them. I add them to smoothies, soups and sautes.
As with all new food, eat sparingly the first time. People may have reactions (allergies, rashes) or difficulty digesting certain foods.
Recipe: Wild Carrot and Mint
- wild carrot root and greens, chopped (I used all the roots in the share - they’re so small, but only half the greens.)
- one stalk mint, leaves removed and chopped
- one chopped chive or onion grass
- chive flower (or red clover flower, petals pulled out) to garnish
- olive oil
In olive oil, saute chopped wild carrots roots for about five minutes. Then add chopped carrot greens and saute until wilted. Finally add chopped mint at very end, sauteing just a bit, adding tamari and a splash of water to steam.
Turn off heat and stir in chopped onion grass.
Remove from heat and garnish with pulled petals from red clover or chive blossom.
(Suggestion: you can also saute some red clover blossoms right into this dish, and then garnish with a fresh one at the end.)
To my CSF-ers, if you get a chance take a minute this week to let me know what you’ve liked in the share, what you’ve made with the foods. Have you dried anything? Frozen or otherwise stored it for later? Have you made anything medicinal: tincture, tea or oil? Would you like more medicinal herbs to make things with, or shall I just stick to the edible foods?
Also, I’ve had requests for dandelion roots and sassafras and I will be trying to get those into your share soon! Any other special requests?
Morel season seems to be over…but we are still out in the woods looking for mushrooms.
Thanks so much and enjoy this week’s wild food CSA!