Hops Shoots & Wild Salad

Last night, following a recipe suggestion in one of Elizabeth David’s books, I tried a vegetable that was new to me: hops shoots.

hop shoots

I boiled them until tender and then tossed them with a little butter. I didn’t want to get fancy with it because the first time I taste something I like to, well, taste it. The hops shoots were excellent, with a succulent texture and mild but intriguing taste. Since my hops vines have threatened to take over the area where they’re planted, I’m glad to find another use for them besides waiting for the late summer strobiles (“flowers”) for beer.

I also had a salad with some wildlings from the garden: dandelion, garlic mustard, and violet greens. The harvesting season is definitely here even though the first domesticated crops (and my CSA share!) are still a couple of months away.

Today I went to the farmers’ market at Grand Army Plaza. Not much new to report. I’m still waiting for the first asparagus and strawberries from South Jersey. I’m pretty much over apples until the fall.

I’m revamping my garden in a locavore-ish way. Since I get so many vegetables from my CSA share, it doesn’t really make sense to plant greens, snap beans, or summer squash, so I’m skipping those this year. I will plant a few cucumbers because I need really tiny, 2-inch no longer, ones to make cornichons. And I’ll do a few tomatoes because you can never have too many of those, especially if you’re drying and canning some. But my main beds are now dedicated to edible perennials.

In one of my sunnier beds, I’ve now got horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes, daylilies (yes, they’re edible), raspberries, asparagus, and various herbs. The shade in my shadiest bed is created by two tall elderberries that produced copious fruit last year. In between them I’ve got mayapple, ostrich fern, wild ginger, lemon balm, and I’ve just ordered some ramps (wild leeks) seeds that I’m planning to add to that edible shade bed.

It’s good to be back to the gardening, foraging, and fresh eating.

copyright

Botany, Ballet, & Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes by Leda Meredith



One response to “Hops Shoots & Wild Salad”

  1. acmeplant says:

    Hops shoots?!? Who knew? (You and Elizabeth David, that’s who.) I can’t wait to try in a few weeks when mine (scion of yours) pop up. I bought some ramps roots (not having the patience for seeds) this spring and planted them last weekend. The smell is intoxicating and I hope they spread fast.

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