Keeping Up with the Forager’s Feast
You can see my fingers through the recently unfurled linden leaf (Tilia a.k.a. basswood tree), right? At this translucent, young stage they are one of my favorite wild salad greens. Soon they’ll be offering their honey-scented blossoms that make exquisite tea and can also be used to flavor homebrewed wine.
The garlic mustard is already at its most delicious, “broccoli rabe” stage right now in BK. Tomorrow I’ll sautee it up with some field garlic and red pepper flakes.
Ramps!!! Be careful if you’re foraging for these. As exciting as it can be to find a ramps patch, they are overharvested in many places. Even if you find them in abundance, graze rather than decimate. A few here, a few from there, leaving plenty in between.
The violets are at their peak. I made violet blossom syrup a couple of days ago, might get around to a candied violets project, and have been enjoying the leaves in salads. The color of the syrup is amazing:
Tonight’s dinner is going to be creamed oyster mushrooms and ramps with scalloped Adirondack red potatoes and a salad of linden leaves plus violet leaves and flowers. The ‘shrooms are from a previous haul that I dehydrated. Sounds fancy, but that’s no cred to the cook: with ingredients like these, it’s easy to impress.
I can’t vouch for elsewhere, but in Prospect Park this morning the redbud blossoms were at the “any day now” stage.
Shameless plug for upcoming foraging tours and classes – hope to see you at some of them, and if I don’t I hope it’s because you’re out foraging delicious, healthy wild foods.