Browsing the archives for the recipe tag.


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Wild Grape Leaves

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Wild grape leaves are a fun delicious ingredient to use.  Wild grapes can often be found growing, well, everywhere.  The actual grape is not yet ripe, but it is a perfect time to gather grape leaves. For a review of identification, check out Green Dean’s description on Eat The Weeds. One thing to double check is that grape leaves have jagged leaf edges, whereas the poisonous look-alike, moonseed leaves, have smooth leaf edges.

pan fried stuffed wild grape leaves

Grape leaves are delicious…you may know them from eating stuffed grape leaves or dolmas you find in Mediterranean markets and restaurants.  You can look up recipes online…some are very simple, stuffing with rice, pine nuts, lemon juice, salt and some have more elaborate stuffing.

Here’s my favorite recipe. It’s simple and delicious. I use cooked rice to stuff the pre-cooked grape leaves. You can actually use raw rice in raw grape leaves, cover with water plus an inch, weight down and boil for 45 minutes to an hour. Then your grape leaves and rice will cook together. But this is how I do it:

Pan Fried Stuffed Grape Leaves

Boil the grape leaves until soft (about 5 minutes).

Cool in the water, then remove the stems.

Filling:

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup raw pine nuts
  • handful fresh mint, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • lemon juice from one lemon

Saute onions in olive oil with a bit of salt until translucent. Add cooked rice, pine nuts and mint and toss to mix. Turn off heat. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

* salt, olive oil and lemon juice seem to be the key to yummy grape leaves! *

** if you are going to boil the stuffed grape leaves instead of sauteing, you do not have to cook the rice or the grape leaves first. Stuff and roll grape leave and place in pot, cover with water plus an inch, place something on top of the grape leaves (like an overturned heat-resistant lid weighted down with a clean rock) and gently boil/simmer for 45 minutes.

Boil grape leaves: The green one on top is the wild grape leaf. The ones under are cultivated, they turned dull almost immediately while the wild grape leaves stayed vibrant green:

boil grape leaves. The planted ones are on bottom and turned olive green right away. The wild grape leaves on top stayed a more vibrant green.

Lay the grape leaf out top down (underside with veins up):

100_4121Add a little filling to bottom of leaf:

100_4122Fold bottom up, then sides in:

100_4123Continue rolling:

100_4124Continue until all grape leaves are stuffed, seam down:

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Saute in olive oil for a few minutes, then flip to saute other side.

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Drizzle with extra lemon juice and ENJOY!!!

Other ways to use grape leaves:

  • saute them into dishes
  • chop and add to soup
  • chop and add raw to salad
  • when pickling other things like cucumbers - especially if fermenting/pickling the cukes raw in salt water -  adding grape leaves on top will keep the cukes/pickles crunchier.
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Dandelion Tea Cake

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Dandelion Tea Cake

Dandelion Tea Cake

Originally called “Dandelion Bread,” I changed the name of the recipe to Dandelion Tea Cake, because this is much more cake-like than bread-like (think Zucchini Bread.)

The original recipe from the Food Storage and Survival Blog is here.

I altered it a bit to make it gluten-free, dairy-free and practically oil-free.

Dandelion Petals, Green Parts Removed

Dandelion Petals, Green Parts Removed

First you’ll need to gather a lot of dandelion flowers, which shouldn’t be too hard this time of year! Then pinch off the green underpart and toss the yellow petals into a bowl. It’s ok if there is a bit of green here and there, but the greens are bitter, so the more you can remove the better.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups buckwheat flour (I ground buckwheat grouts in a coffee grinder)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups dandelion petals
  • 1 mashed banana with drizzle olive oil (I used in place of 1/4 c veg oil)
  • 1/2 c maple syrup
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup cashew milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix dry ingredients, including dandelion petals, into bowl.
  3. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl, then combine with dry ingredients.
  4. Pour into oiled loaf pan.
  5. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes, then turn down heat to 350 and bake 20 more minutes.

Delicious served warm with tea. I boiled the extra dandelion flowers (greens and all) into a tea, to which I added a little honey.

I ate it plain, but it is also good topped with honey or butter.

A Slice Of Dandelion Tea Cake Topped With Honey

A Slice Of Dandelion Tea Cake Topped With Honey

Tea Time!!!

Happy Foraging!

~ Melissa Sokulski

Food Under Foot

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Morel Mushroom Risotto

General Posts, Recipes
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The other day my daughter was taking a winter survival class. The other two adults and I were standing around, talking wild edibles. I wondered aloud what I might do with the last of my dried morels. The leader of the course answered without hesitation: “Morel Risotto.”

He was right.

Dried Morels

Dried Morels

The key to this delicious vegan dish was using the broth made from reconstituting the morels.

Morel Mushroom Broth Used In The Risotto

Morel Mushroom Broth Used In The Risotto

Morel Risotto - vegan, gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice, rinced
  • handful dried morels, soaked in one cup very hot water. Save the broth.
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup cashew milk, watered down with 1 cup water
  • 2+ cups water as needed
  • salt
  • pepper
  • optional: pine nuts for garnish

Soak the Morels in Boiled Water - and SAVE the Broth!

Soak the Morels in Boiled Water - and SAVE the Broth!

To reconstitute the morels:

  • Place dried morels in bowl.
  • Boil water
  • Pour at least a cup of water over morels.
  • Cover and let steep
  • Save broth
  • Take morels out when soft (about 1/2 hour), squeezing broth into bowl. You are saving the broth to use in the risotto.

Chopped reconstituted morels, morel broth, onions, mushrooms, garlic, cashew milk

Chopped reconstituted morels, morel broth, onions, mushrooms, garlic, cashew milk, olive oil

Directions:

Risotto is made by cooking the rice slowly in liquid, added liquid in small amounts and letting the rice absorb it before adding more. This imparts great richness and flavor into the dish.

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in pan.
  2. Saute onion til soft, about 3-5 minutes, adding a bit of salt to help onion release its juices.
  3. Add fresh mushrooms, cook 3 minutes more.
  4. Add garlic and dried morels. Toss and saute a minute or so.
  5. Add the rinsed rice to the pan and stir to coat rice with the oil.
  6. Add broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until rice dish has absorbed it.
  7. Once the broth is used, add watered down cashew milk (the cashew milk will thicken if you add it without watering.)
  8. Continue to add milk and water.
  9. Add liquid, stir, and cover to let the rice absorb liquid. You can also begin to add a little salt and pepper. You may have to add up to 2 more cups of water until rice is soft…I did!
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Add garnish of pine nuts if desired. Enjoy!

This dish was AMAZING! I served it with salad and roasted sweet potatoes. I’m glad I still have one more handful of dried morels left!

Morel Risotto with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Salad

Morel Risotto with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Salad

Rainbow Salad: cucumber, parsnips, cabbage, carrots, beets over a bed of chopped spinach and Romaine

Rainbow Salad: cucumber, parsnips, cabbage, carrots, beets over a bed of chopped spinach and Romaine

Now I’m anxiously awaiting morel season…still over 3 months away!

Enjoy the winter and your stores of dried edibles!

~ Melissa of Food Under Foot

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Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Sunchoke Latkes!

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Baked Sunchoke Latkes

Baked Sunchoke Latkes

Chanukah is just around the corner and while it may seem taboo to tamper with perfection of the fried-in-oil potato pancake, I’ve done it before (raw sweet potato latkes) I did it last year with sunchoke latkes made the traditional way (with egg, fried in oil)and now I’ve done it again: baked, gluten-free, oil-free, vegan sunchoke latkes!

Actually, latkes (potato pancakes) are very versatile and so much can be added to them, and they always turn out great. Chopped wild greens can be added (garlic mustard, nettles, and chickweed are my favorites), different veggies can be grated along with or instead of the potatoes (case in point: Jerusalem artichokes, aka sunchokes).

But can they be made without all that oil?

That is the question I tackled this year with the result: a resounding YES!

Latkes are traditionally fried in oil to represent the miracle of the oil: olive oil in the ancient temple was only enough to last one night, instead it lasted eight: a miracle! (There’s  a bit more to the story than that.) But do we really need to cook things in an excess of oil to celebrate?

This year I made three batches of latkes:

  1. potato and onion
  2. sunchoke, potato, onion
  3. potato, onion, chickweed, jalapeno and scallion

grated sunchoke tubers

Ingredients:

  • 2 large potatoes, grated
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 3 Tbsp chopped wild greens
  • 1/4 cup grated sunchokes
  • 2 - 3+ Tbsp flour of choice (I used buckwheat flour to keep these gluten free)
  • salt, pepper
  • chopped scallions, or garlic mustard or onion grass
  • chopped jalapeno (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Line 2 cookie trays with parchment paper.
  • After grating potatoes, squeeze out excess liquid. Place in large bowl.
  • Mix in 3/4 grated onion.
  • Mix in 2 Tbsp of flour, salt and pepper.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the rest of onion  and flour with grated sunchoke tubers.  You can add a spoonful of the potato mixture, or keep it sunchoke only, up to you.
  • Form the sunchoke mixture into patties (you can use a 1/4 cup measure to keep amount consistant), then press on baking sheet to flatten into cakes.
  • Do the same using half potato batter.
  • With the rest of the potato batter, add the wild greens, scallions and optional jalapenos. Mix. Place these in on baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Flip and bake 20 minutes more, until browned on both sides.

Serve with applesauce (I make my own raw applesauce by simply blending apples in my blender!)

Also serve with plain yogurt or sour cream (can use tofu or cashew sour cream to keep vegan.)

Easy tofu sour cream recipe:

Blend a block of silken tofu with a juice of one lemon.

photo-1

Enjoy a healthier version of a holiday favorite, while getting outside and foraging for fantastic ingredients, even in winter.

In fact, the ground is frozen here in Pittsburgh, yet I was still able to easily forage Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke, Helianthus tuberosus) tubers. How? Because they are so close to the surface that I just took a metal gardening rake and pulled away some of the frozen soil from right near the base of the plant and voila - fresh sweet tubers were revealed! Here they are washed:

Sunchoke Tubers

Enjoy the weather, the woods and your holiday traditions!

Peace and Joy to all ~

~ Melissa from Food Under Foot

Some Quick Links:

~ Make sure you sign up for our free newsletter (green box right margin.) You’ll get 5 great ebooks free!! Happy Holidays! ~

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Wild Recipes for the Holidays

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Sunchoke Tubers

Sunchoke Tubers

One of my favorite winter wild edibles is Jerusalem Artichoke - or Sunchoke - tubers.

Jerusalem Artichoke is actually native to America, and is in the sunflower (not artichoke) family. Its botanical name is Helianthus tuberosus. - the sunflower known for its edible tuber.

Sunchoke Flowers

Sunchoke Flowers

The flowers bloom in the late fall, usually September and October. All through the winter, as long as the ground is not frozen solid, the tubers can be dug up and eaten - and they are delicious! They can be enjoyed raw (I like to grate them into salad) or cooked (I love to roast them in the oven.) They have a wonderful unique flavor that I crave during the winter!

Jerusalem artichoke tubers can be used in any recipe in place of potatoes, but be warned they have a slightly different consistency when cooked than potatoes, they are a little more watery. This is because the starch is different. Jerusalem artichokes contain the starch inulin, which actually helps regulate blood sugar making it an excellent food for diabetics, or anyone with blood sugar issues.

Other than roasting it with other root vegetables, my favorite recipe is Sunchoke Soup (sometimes called “Palestine Soup”, a play on the name “Jerusalem.”)

This is a simple yet delightful recipe that is superb on the holiday table!

Sunchoke Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 - 7 tubers Jersalem Artichokes, washed well, peeled half-heartedly (don’t worry about getting all the peel off), and chopped
  • water or stock to cover vegetables
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, good if not using vegetable stock)
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Directions

onions and sunchokes

onions and sunchokes

  1. Saute onion in olive oil.
  2. Add Jerusalem artichoke and continue to saute, adding some salt, to bring out flavors.
  3. Cover with water or stock and let simmer until sunchokes are soft, about 20 minutes.
  4. Place in blender with cashews, nutritional yeast, sea salt and pepper. Whizz til smooth.
  5. Reheat and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

This soup is simple and delicious!!!

You can find other amazing holiday recipes in my book, “Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting; Delicious Recipes for the Holidays or Anyday.”

You can get it directly from our website, and it is also available on Amazon Kindle.

I hope you are staying warm and enjoying some winter wild edibles! It can be fun to make the holiday table WILD with some great winter edibles!

Happy Foraging!

~ Melissa from Food Under Foot

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Our New eBook - Wild Edibles 101

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wild-edibles-101-page-001By request, this is a popular book from our workshops, made available for general purchase!

When we offer workshops at Food Under Foot, we start with a wild edibles walk, learning to identify common weeds. We talk about their use as food and medicine and how and when to sustainably harvest the plants. Then we return to the workshop space (often the Birch Center in Pittsburgh’s South Side) and I demonstrate making a dish using some of the wild plants. I’ve made pesto, smoothies, vinegars, etc. Then we all get to sample!

Making a Wild Green Smoothie

Making a Wild Green Smoothie at a Workshop in Chalk Hill, PA

The workshops are fun and often I send the participants home with a book, reviewing 8 of the most commonly seen weeds with a recipe or two for each. Nothing overwhelming, just a natural accompaniment to the workshop.

Well, we had a few extra of these books laying around the Birch Center and some acupuncture clients took notice. They wanted a copy for themselves! Once we sold out of those I figured I’d make it available to everyone here online.

Remember, this book is simple: 101! But it has good pictures, easy-to-follow directions and useful recipes. Some are similar to what you may have already seen on the website or in the 5 part wild edible series that comes free when you join our mailing list. But it’s nice to have them all in one place.

This book showcases 8 of the most common weeds: dandelion, burdock, red clover, lambs quarters, garlic mustard, onion grass, plantain, and mugwort, and gives recipes to turn them into vinegars, wine, pesto, tea, smoothies and more. This is a simple book with simple recipes (about 25 pages), but if you want to get started with the weeds you’ll likely find anywhere in the US, this is the place to start!

Here are the contents:

  • Red Clover
    • Red Clover Iced Tea
    • Red Clover Apple Cookies
  • Garlic Mustard
    • Garlic Mustard Pesto (vegan)
    • Garlic Mustard Vinegar
  • Lambs Quarters
    • Wild Green Smoothie
  • Dandelion
    • Easy Dandelion Wine
  • Burdock
    • Lemony Ginger Burdock Juice
  • Plantain
    • Plantain Crisps
  • Mugwort
    • Mugwort Vinegar
  • Onion Grass
      Onion Grass Vinegar

Color photos, plant descriptions and step-by-step recipes. If you are an expert forager with years of experience this may not be the book for you. But if you want to get started, maybe compile some great easy recipes from this website all in one place, this is a great place to start!

Just $3.99, about 25 pages

8 common plants, 10 uncommon recipes

Wild Edibles 101

Add to Cart

View Cart

Happy Foraging!
~ Melissa

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Top 5 Gourmet Wild Edibles and A Recipe for Palestine Soup

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Morel Mushrooms

Morel Mushrooms

Here on Food Under Foot, we celebrate the edible and medicinal qualities of wild plants and mushrooms, be they omnipresent dandelions, invasive Japanese Knotweed or hard-to-find morel mushrooms.

Some of these plants most people classify as weeds. Said columnist Doug Larson, “A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.

Some of these wild plants, including those omnipresent dandelion leaves, can be found at specialty grocery stores, with quite a nice price tag on them.

What are your favorite “gourmet” wild edibles? Maybe you live in the desert and Prickly Pear Cactus is your thing. Or morels from the woodland forests in Pennsylvania. Watercress growing from a stream is a good one…or how about bright yellow chanterelles? French chefs love those!

Here you’ll find an article with my list of my top five (well, seven…I added two more at the end.) It’s an article I wrote for Good Veg Magazine.

Is your list the same as mine? Different? Please let me know.

And don’t despair…one of these edibles is in season right now…in the middle of winter! In fact, Dave and I dug up 5 pounds of them the other day and had the most delicious Palestine Soup (recipe below) for lunch today! Did I give it away? You got it: Jerusalem Artichokes!

Sunchoke Tubers

Sunchoke Tubers

Recipe: Palestine Soup

And why, you may wonder, is this soup called “Palestine Soup”? According to infoplease.com, it is a case of a blunder begetting a blunder. You and I both know that Jerusalem artichoke is actually a native American plant, and the name came from the Spanish or Italian word for Sunflower: Girasol. The word Girasol sort of sounded like the word Jerusalem, and so this soup - made of Jerusalem Artichokes, is called Palestine Soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 - 7 tubers Jersalem Artichokes, washed well, peeled half-heartedly (don’t worry about getting all the peel off), and chopped
  • water or stock to cover vegetables
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, good if not using vegetable stock)
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Directions

onions and sunchokes

onions and sunchokes

  1. Saute onion in olive oil.
  2. Add Jerusalem artichoke and continue to saute, adding some salt, to bring out flavors.
  3. Cover with water or stock and let simmer until sunchokes are soft, about 20 minutes.
  4. Place in blender with cashews, nutritional yeast, sea salt and pepper. Whizz til smooth.
  5. Reheat and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

This soup is simple and delicious!!!

Enjoy!

~ Melissa

Top 5 Gourmet Wild Edibles page in GoodVeg Magazine

Also on Food Under Foot:

Jerusalem Artichokes

Sunchoke Latkes

And please make sure you sign up for our newsletter and receive the first five ebooks in our Wild Edibles Series completely free! (Green box top right: Join The Family!)

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Sunchoke Latkes

Recipes
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Sunchoke Latkes with Apple Sauce
Sunchoke Latkes with Apple Sauce

I have a new favorite wild food: Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus), or Sunchokes!

I know I say this every season, every time I get on a kick with a new wild edible. And I’m saying it again: I cannot get enough of Jerusalem Artichokes. I love their taste, I love their texture, I love them raw, I love how they cook up.

Chanukah came (and went) early this year. Latkes (or potato pancakes) are the traditional food of the holiday, and we do have some latke recipes which incorporate wild foods on this website and in Winter Foraging Holiday Feasting, because chickweed and garlic mustard are great greens to find in the winter!

Today I decided to make latkes without potatoes.  Though the ground was indeed frozen, we were able to break through and dig up some sunchoke tubers, a traditional native food which I used instead of potatoes.

grated sunchoke tubers
grated sunchoke tubers

I grated the tubers and then grated 1/2 onion, mixed in some flour (my flour mix included black rice flour, which is why the potato pancakes came out darker than usual), an egg, salt and pepper. I sauteed the latkes in olive oil, celebrating the miracle of the oil lasting eight nights, which is why latkes are a Chanukah food!

Latkes cooking up in olive oil to celebrate the Chanukah miracle (of the oil lasting 8 nights)
Latkes cooking up in olive oil to celebrate the Chanukah miracle (of the oil lasting 8 nights)

In my vitamix I whipped up some apple sauce (ingredient: apples) and there you have it: pure deliciousness.

Sunchokes differ from potatoes in that sunchokes carbohydrate is mostly inulin, which is a blood-sugar stabilizing carbohydrate.

So there you have it, latkes without potatoes, the way the Native Americans and pilgrims must have enjoyed their latkes on Chanukah (haha, not!)

Ingredients

  • handful of sunchoke tubers, grated
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil for cooking

Directions

  • Mix grated sunchokes, grated onions, egg, flour and salt and pepper. If using non-wheat flour like rice flour (like I did) allow a minute or two for the flour to absorb extra liquid
  • Add 1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil to pan, to cover bottom. I do not deep fry my latkes.
  • Heat oil on medium until a drop of water sizzles on the surface.
  • drop pancake mix in 2 inch diameter thin circles
  • Allow to cook until bottom browns, about 6 - 8 minutes
  • Flip and cook on other side until browned, about 3 - 5 minutes
  • Remove to paper towels to absorb excess oil
  • Continue in batches, you may need to add more oil every couple batches.

This only made 6 pancakes. If you have more tubers you can make more.

sunchoke latkes with black rice flour

Traditionally served with apple sauce and sour cream.

Enjoy!

Melissa

3dbookcover2For more winter recipes, check out our newest book: Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting, available now!

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