Welcome to Week 4 of the CSF!
New this week: Burdock leaf stalks, onion grass bulbs, catnip and lemon balm.
In your share this week:
- Burdock Leaf Stalks
- Lemon Balm
- Purple Dead Nettle
- Onion Grass with Bulbs
- Garlic Mustard
- Japanese Knotweed
What a fun share we have for you this week!
We’ve been out hiking the hills and forests of Western PA and we do indeed have more morel mushrooms for you this week! Remember to always cook morels and all wild mushrooms before you eat them! I have been enjoying morels sauteed in butter with onions and eaten with eggs, or in fried rice. In fact, I made some wonderful fried rice with morels, nettles and cat tails the other day - yum!
The Burdock Leaf Stalks are new this week. (They look like huge stalks of celery.) They taste very bitter if you eat them raw due to their outer skin. However, I found by boiling them in water (I added salt to the water) for 20 minutes (then throw away that water), they are no longer bitter and they are no longer stringy. (If not cooked enough they are pretty tough.) You don’t even need to peel them! If you’d like to try them raw I recommend peeling them - it is just the outer skin that is bitter.
I made a delicious dish with a good sauce by cooking the stalks:
- Wash stalks
- chop them into small pieces, about 1 -2 inches (smaller than in the picture below…I made it a couple times and I liked it better when the stalks were a little smaller than shown.)
- put them in a pan and cover with water
- simmer with lid 20 minutes
- save stalks, throw out water
- Melt butter into that same pan (you can use olive oil to make vegan)
- Added 2 Tbsp of buckwheat flour (I used buckwheat so it’s gluten free, you can use whatever flour you like)
- Mix over medium heat
- Add a little water and mix the flour in evenly, keep adding water slowly and mixing until it becomes a thick sauce
- Add salt and pepper (and Parmesan cheese if you want, optional.)
- Once sauce is done add burdock stalks back in and stir until coated.
- Serve with the sauce.
This week we also finally made homemade nettle pasta again! We had run out of eggs so we just omitted them and made vegan pasta instead. I added a little water to the steamed nettles while blending them, and then mixed (by kneading) the nettle/water mixture into buckwheat flour (again so it was gluten free, you can use regular flour if you wish.) It came out great!
Catnip is an herb which is beloved by cats as well as people! You will find this soft-to-the-touch mint in your share this week. As a tea (you can boil it fresh or dry it first, then steep) it acts as a muscle relaxant and induces relaxation and sleep. I have mine hanging to dry in my doorway and my cats are going CRAZY today!
The Lemon Balm is also a mint, this one very lemony. I like to add the leaves to tea (fresh leaves or dried) and salads. I think lemon balm also makes a delicious pesto. Try slicing the leaves and floating on top of a lemongrass soup after it’s done cooking. Very delicious.
This week we found a gorgeous field of onion grass (at Wild Red’s Gardens in Morningside.) You’ll find we harvested the whole plant this time: bulb as well as green. You can cook the bulbs as you would any onion bulb or shallot. Use the greens as you would chives. They can also be dried if you find yourself with an abundance!
You’ve seen all the other wild edibles before…check back to previous newsletters for ideas. I have been using garlic mustard leaves on sandwiches (in place of lettuce) and I love it!
Please remember to send me any pictures and recipes that you make with your wild edibles…I’d love to pass them along to the rest of the share!
Enjoy your share this week!