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