There’s still lots of wild food out there (well, depending on where you live)…here are some ideas on how to incorporate it into your holiday meals.
In Western Pennsylvania, you can still find oyster mushrooms, perhaps hen of the woods (though it’s a bit late…but maybe you still have some around you recently harvested), nettles, dandelion greens, burdock root, chickweed, recently harvested black walnuts and hickory nuts and more. There are lots of ways to incorporate some of these yummy foods.
These days our meals tend to be vegan or vegetarian and gluten-free. So here are some ideas:
- Add burdock root to lentil sweet potato stew.
- Make candied black walnuts to top this raw cranberry sauce, you can find the recipe for this dish here.
Wild Mushroom Stuffing (gluten-free, vegan)
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 2 cups wild mushrooms (oysters or maitake/hen of the woods)
- 2 stalks chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped nettles (sure, why not! If you don’t have it you can omit or add spinach or parsley instead.)
- 2 cups cooked rice, quinoa, or cut-in-little-pieces gluten-free bread
- salt, pepper
- dried sage
- dried thyme
- olive oil
- optional: nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese (not vegan)
- optional: grated cheddar cheese (not vegan) or grated vegan cheese like Daiya brand, which usually melts.
- Saute onions, garlic, mushrooms and salt in olive oil until soft, at least 5 minutes.
- Add chopped celery and saute a few minutes more.
- Add nettles until wilted.
- Add pepper, sage and thyme and rice (or quinoa or bread. If adding bread you may need some water.)
- Stir all together over heat, adjusting seasonings, adding nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese if you prefer.
My favorite way to eat this stuffing this fall is in baked squash: either delicata or acorn squash.
To bake squash: Cut in half (lengthwise for delicata) scrape out seeds (and save seeds to roast: we are foragers! we do not throw away the seeds! We may save some to plant next year…but the rest we roast!) Rub squash with olive oil and place face down on oiled baking pan, baking at 350 for 20 - 40 minutes until soft.
- Put stuffing in squash, top with cheese (optional) and reheat in oven until cheese melts.
To roast squash or pumpkin seeds: wash off squash debris, coat with olive oil or melted butter, add salt, spread on baking tray and bake while squash is baking 10 -15 minutes, stir up, spread again and bake 5 to 10 more minutes, until dry and crispy.
Enjoy your holidays!
Stay safe, stay wild.
~ Melissa and the folks at Food Under Foot