Friday, May 6, 2011

Where The Wild Foods Are


Don your nettle-proof gloves, grab a scissors and grocery bag and head for the green hills grocery! Here’s a tasty romp in the Northwest woods to gather delicious wild greens. Best of all—sustainably. “Foraging with Jennifer Hahn” is a short video, 2 ½ minutes. Videographer, Mark Mulligan, of "The Herald,” Everett, WA did the "shooting of the rooting."  

It’s a nibble of spring. If you want to learn how to forage sustainably for wild greens, seaweed, or mushrooms, take a class with Jennifer--a seasoned forager! Check Events above. This spring/summer Jennifer offers: sea veggie foraging by sea kayak (http://www.elakah.com/), Seaweed Cuisine (http://www.foodcoop.com/).

“Personal foraging class,” anyone? Set up a private class with Jennifer. If dates don’t jive with your schedule, arrange a two-hour sustainable wild foraging class for eight pals--$25 each. How about wild greens, seaweeds or mushrooms? Or a wild feast cooking class, after our baskets or kayak decks are brimming?

Meanwhile, tuck in your dinner napkin and imbibe in "WHERE THE WILD FOODS ARE”. Award-winning writer, Jackson Holtz (author of “Fly, Colton, Fly: The True Story of the Barefoot Bandit”) begins: 

Jennifer Hahn sees more than the forest for the trees. She sees dinner. From ferns come fiddleheads. From trees, sap for syrup or blossoms for a fritter. From the forest floor, delicate mushrooms and lemon-flavored wood sorrel….”
         
After two hours of woods and wetland exploring, with baskets brimming, Jackson and I returned to my kitchen for après foraging fun. We blanched nettles and lady fern fiddleheads, diced wood sorrel, turned roasted dandelion roots into buttery coffee-flavored ice cream, and fluffed wild and farm greens with pickled red onions and shallot-walnut-vinaigrette.
       
Here's the menu of chef recipes—all found in PACIFIC FEAST--that inspired our wild table:

Oysters with Wood Sorrel Sauce
by Chef Jerry Traunfeld, Poppy, Seattle
 http://www.poppyseattle.com/

Shepherd’s Salad of Wild & Farm Greens
 by Chef Cathy Whims, Nostrana, Portland
http://www.nostrana.com/

Nettle Hazelnut Pesto
 by Chef Greg Higgins, Higgins Restaurant & Bar, Portland
http://www.higginsportland.com/

Roasted Dandelion Root Ice Cream
 by The Herbfarm Founder Ron Zimmerman, The Herbfarm, Woodinville, WA
http://www.theherbfarm.com/


Pick Lady Fern fiddleheads that are tightly coiled and less than six inches (one hand height). Rub gently to remove "brown scale-like fur" under tap water. Simmer naked Lady Fern fiddleheads for a few minutes before serving. Heating destroys the fern's thiaminase--an enzyme that reduces our body's essential store of VitaminB.

ENJOY the spring greens. While you’re at it, remember to promote: preservation through the palate. Let’s pick as if there is a tomorrow. Forage and eat sustainably. Let’s anchor this vision: our great great great great grandchildren munching the wild flavors of fiddleheads, too.

May we find the earth delicious for a long time!  

3 comments:

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