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Wild Recipes for the Holidays

General Posts, Recipes
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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

General Posts
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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

Recipes
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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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It Was Me, Not Them

Recipes
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Chanterelle Mushrooms

Chanterelle Mushrooms

Chanterelles.

Those most gourmet of edible mushrooms. The bright yellow find in the woods, smelling deliciously of apricot. So good.

So they say.

I have never been a fan of chanterelles. But it turns out it was me, not them.

I should have known 65 million French people couldn’t be wrong.

It turns out I didn’t know how to prepare them. And this year - 2013 - ends up being the year of the chanterelle. At least in the woods of Western PA. A whole group of mushroom hunters couldn’t harvest enough to put a dent in what was out there.

So I did a bit of internet research for chanterelle recipes, and I found this video. I left the butter out to keep the recipe vegan, and used fresh lemon thyme because that is what we have growing. It was the best.

Sauteed chantereels with lemon thyme.

Sauteed chanterelles with lemon thyme.

Lemon Thyme and Garlic Chanterelles

vegan, gluten-free

adapted from this recipe on No Recipe Required

  • 2 cups Chanterelles, washed and cut into equal sized pieces
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme or lemon thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • sea salt, pepper
  • squeeze of lemon

Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a heavy pan, turn heat to medium high.

Place chanterelles in pan in single layer. Add salt and let them cook until side on pan is browned, about 8 minutes.

Flip chanterelles and cook another 4 or 5 minutes. If pan dries out add more oil.

Add in thyme, then add in garlic, stir.

Turn off heat and grind in pepper and squeeze on lemon, stir again.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

You can use this as a side dish or mix into risotto once the rice is cooked and taken off the heat. Very, very good.

Olive Oil Sauteed Chanterelles with Lemon Thyme and Garlic

Olive Oil Sauteed Chanterelles with Lemon Thyme and Garlic

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Vegan (and Soy-Free, Gluten-Free) Cream of Mushroom Soup with Morels and Dryads

Recipes
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vegan mushroom soup

vegan mushroom soup

Amazing, amazing vegan “cream” of mushroom soup…and the mushrooms are MORELS and DRYAD’S SADDLES! It doesn’t get better than this!

yellow morels

yellow morels

Vegan Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

vegan, gluten-free, soy-free

In a pot with water, boil:

  • 3 potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 button mushrooms (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika

Boil until POTATOES and CARROTS are tender. Remove from heat.

Add CASHEWS and blend well. (We used our vitamix, but any blender should be fine.)

In a pan with olive oil:

saute chopped MORELS with salt.

In another pan with olive oil:

saute chopped DRYAD’S SADDLE with salt.

Dryad's Saddle

Dryad's Saddle

(I sauteed in them in two separate pans because later in the season dryad’s can become bitter, and in case this had happened, I didn’t want to ruin the batch of morels!!! But they were just fine.)

Return now creamy broth to pot and adjust seasonings: SALT, PEPPER, PAPRIKA  to taste.

Add sauteed mushrooms and enjoy.

PLEASE MAKE 100% CERTAIN OF IDENTITY OF ALL WILD MUSHROOMS USED!

~ Melissa

Food Under Foot

Stay in touch! Make sure you sign up for our free newsletter (green box in the upper right margin.) Also, visit our sister blog at Birch Center for information on acupuncture, natural wellness and more great healthy recipes.

Want to know what kitchen equipment we love? Check out our recommendations.

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Yum-mazing Morel and Mashed Potato Muffins

Recipes
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Yum-mazing Morel and Mashed Potato Muffins

Yum-mazing Morel and Mashed Potato Muffins

As stipulated in the 5th annual Morel Recipe Challenge, this recipe had to be baked. And what better way to bake than with muffin tins?

These Morel Muffins came out AMAZING. I have never baked anything in muffin tins, not even muffins. We only have the tins around to sort buttons and mix paint. But after today I may actually use them for savory recipes! I’m definitely making these again!

Dried Morels from Marx Foods

Dried Morels from Marx Foods

I used the wonderful dried morels sent to me by Marx Foods. To reconstitute them I simply poured boiling water over them, covered the bowl with a dish and let stand about 20 minutes. I then used that morel soak water to cook the potatoes, so make sure to save it! (You could also cook the quinoa in it…just make sure to use it, yum!) You could also use fresh morels in this recipe.

4 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled/steamed in the morel soak water. Then mashed. Add extra water when cooking if necessary and mash the potatoes and the cook water together at the end. You will need 1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes for this recipe.

And I added garlic mustard because, well, it’s that time of year and I love using wild ingredients! But you can either omit this altogether or substitute arugula or chives. I picked some garlic mustard leaves, washed and dried them then chopped them very fine and small.

garlic mustard
garlic mustard

Yum-mazing Morel and Mashed Potato Muffins

An original gluten-free dairy-free vegetarian recipe by Melissa Sokulski for the 5th Annual Morel Recipe Challenge

You will need a muffin tin for this recipe.

  • 2 oz dried morels, reconstituted as above and chopped. You could also use one cup of chopped fresh morels.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (it will be about 1 cup chopped onions)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or butter, to saute morels, onions and garlic, plus a bit more to oil muffin tins
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes (see above)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup flour, plus a bit more to flour muffin tins (I used a mix of almond meal and buckwheat flour to keep the recipe gluten free, but you can use whatever flour you like.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp chopped garlic mustard (you can also use arugula, or chives, or omit, see note above)
  • 1 Tbsp brown mustard
  • salt
  • pepper
  • nutmeg

Tip: I made this recipe gluten-free and dairy-free so my family could eat it. However, I KNOW it would be DIVINE with your favorite cheese grated and mixed into the batter!

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Oil muffin tin with olive oil and sprinkle with flour to make it easier to remove “muffins” after cooking.
  3. Reconstitute dried morels (if using dried) by covering dried morels with boiled water. Cover bowl and let sit at least 20 minutes, until mushrooms are soft and able to cut. SAVE soak water to cook potatoes or quinoa.
  4. Boil (in morel soak water) and mash potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Boil 1/2 cup quinoa in 1 cup water (or morel soak water) for 15 minutes until quinoa is soft and water has been absorbed.
  6. Saute chopped morels, onions, and garlic in olive oil (or butter) for at least 10 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Mix sauteed morel mixture with mashed potatoes, quinoa, and all other ingredients.
  8. Divide mixture evenly into the 12 muffin cups.
  9. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool at least 5 minutes to help it set and make the muffins easier to remove.

Enjoy!!!

Baked Morel Muffins

Baked Morel Muffins

Festive foraging,

~ Melissa Sokulski

Stay in touch! Make sure you sign up for our free newsletter (green box in the upper right margin.) Also, visit our sister blog at Birch Center for information on acupuncture, natural wellness and more great healthy recipes.

Want to know what kitchen equipment we love? Check out our recommendations.

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The Wild Pantry: Sumac Seasoning

Raw, Recipes
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Tangy staghorn sumac seasoning is perfect for this Middle Eastern salad

Tangy staghorn sumac seasoning is perfect for this Middle Eastern salad

It’s fun dipping into the wild pantry to add zest and flavor to dishes. For this middle Eastern tabouli recipe, I dipped into the pantry not once, but twice. In addition to this tangy sumac seasoning, I stripped some dried mint leaves off a bundle I have hanging in my kitchen and crumbled those in. (Though it will be up soon, mint has not yet appeared in my neck of the woods - Western PA.)

The fun thing about sumac is that even if you missed harvesting it last fall, it’s available all winter. As long as you can find those red bundles on the otherwise bare trees, you can harvest and use sumac, which tastes fresh and lemony and is high in vitamin C.

Sifting Dried Staghorn Sumac

Sifting Dried Staghorn Sumac

Last fall I dried some sumac clusters, broke them up in the food processor, then sifted out the hard seeds through a strainer. This makes a sour seasoning that is perfect to add to dishes like fatoush, tabouli and hummus.

Today I made raw tabouli salad (without grains), but you could easily add a cup of cooked quinoa, cracked wheat or cous cous to the salad to turn it into a more traditional tabouli. For fatoush, simply add small pieces of toasted pita into the salad.

Raw Tabouli Salad

  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, seeds removed (and saved for smoothies or juices), chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp dried sumac seasoning
  • bunch of parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dried mint, crumbled and added
  • 1 Tbsp (or more, to taste) onion, chopped very small
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • drizzle olive oil (about 1 Tbsp)

Middle Eastern Salad

Raw Tabouli Salad

Mix all ingredients and enjoy.

Think happy thoughts….it’s March 1 and spring is sure to be upon us soon. To those of you who have access to maple trees: now is the time to tap them for their wonderful sap. Soon another wild year will be upon us!

Festive foraging,

~ Melissa Sokulski

Stay in touch! Make sure you sign up for our free newsletter (green box in the upper right margin.) Also, visit our sister blog at Birch Center for information on acupuncture, natural wellness and more great healthy recipes.

Want to know what kitchen equipment we love? Check out our recommendations.

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