I dragged out some wild food books over the weekend and spent some time looking through them, finding a few recipes to try this spring and summer, as well as deciding to try a couple of "weeds" that I've not eaten before. It was a good way to spend an otherwise boring winter afternoon, but it really got me fired up for spring!
Dandelions will be in grave danger this year, I can tell you. I'm so looking forward to fresh greens and more. One of the books I rediscovered is "Dandelion Celebration" by Peter Gail. Curious, I tried to track him down and actually found a blog he wrote, but the last entry was in April of last year. I'm hoping that he just got busy with other things and will return soon.
That little book was what really got me started on dandelions and I'm still learning about them. Not only can you eat the leaves as cooked greens, you can eat them raw in a salad or sandwich. You can steam the buds and eat them with butter, fritter the flower heads or add the flowers to cookie dough... make dandelion coffee and, of course, dandelion wine. All for free (how frugal is that??)
Then you can sprout the seeds for a midwinter green, or you can bring in a plant or two and have greens year 'round. Dig the roots for a cooked vegetable, too.
And so my weekend went... and so I'm hungry for all those good, free, wild foods that won't grow here just yet.
If you haven't tried wild foods, do yourself and your food budget a favor and try dandelions this spring. You might be able to find a copy of Peter Gail's book at a library, but if you can't, there are many dandelion recipes on the internet. Just remember to not gather them from lawns or fields that have been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides or that are close to highways or busy streets.
Have you had any experience with dandelions or other wild foods? I'd love to learn more!