Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Little Wild Green Thing Every Day

In early Spring, I like to find some wild green thing each day to provide nourishment and extra flavor to our meals. I brought Wild Leeks (or Ramps) back down with me from a gorgeous stand in the Adirondacks on Sunday and made a big pot of Wild Leek and Potato Soup. Then I found some Wild Leeks here along our favorite walking route and threw the chopped lilies (did you know leeks and all onion-related plants are in the Lily Family?) into an Indian lamb dish with peas. Yesterday I picked some fiddleheads from the abundant  Ostrich Ferns in my wild flower garden and braised them in olive oil for lunch, served with a squeeze of lemon juice and a shaving of Parmesan cheese. Today, it was stray garlic plants and sorrel from the vegetable garden (not exactly wild, but weeds, more or less) with garlic mustard and dandelion leaves in the quiche.

There is something about  going out and picking something usually neglected (and even sometimes despised) as culinary subject-matter that makes me feel connected to all the abundance at my careless feet. 
The asparagus just made its way through the mulch yesterday and the salad greens are starting to make something of themselves (sown by some goddess from seed pods I allowed to mature late last summer). Soon, the garden will generously provide more than we can possibly keep up with (and we are REALLY lazy), but even then the wild berries will drip from the brambles at the edge of the field. We strain to plant and weed and mulch and fertilize, and sometime I wonder what for. In this very green part of the planet, we literally trip over and chop down the bounty provided by Nature. Did I mention that someone told me fiddleheads go for over $6 per pound at the fancy produce stores? Please pardon my amusement....


Anonymous said...

I love your first photo. I sometimes help with the art program at my son's school and I did a unit on koru art -

Cris Winters said...

I LOVED that link you sent on the koru art - wow! Very inspiring designs, and I had never heard of it before. I think I'll find some to use in my fiber works. Much appreciated.