As a nature lover and foodie fanatic, I have a great respect and love for foraging for wild edibles.
I grew up on wild mushrooms, asparagus, berries, vintages of elderberry and dandelion wines, all of which were gathered and prepared by master foragers.
When my children were young, I would pay them one penny for every dandelion blossom, to rid my yard of the so called “weed”. I then would make dandelion jelly from the tender blossom petals, referred to as dandelion honey for it’s sweet honey like taste…that is, if you have the right recipe. Why would I know this? Because it was the 1990’s and I had no internet, computer nor access to social media services like Pinterest. I lived in a small Midwestern town, far away from the cool, hip organic communities of the East and West Coasts, so our town library only had a handful of herbal and forging recipe books for reference.
Often the children and I would head to the forest for hikes and we would gather wild berries for jams and jellies. Sometimes we would find teaberry, and the children would chew the stiff, waxy leaves, sampling the cool refreshing taste of wintergreen.
When working in New Hampshire, I bought foraged wild ramps, also known as wild garlic from a local farmer’s market and learned how to make wild ramp pesto. I froze leftovers in ice cube trays since I was told the picking season was very short. I found fiddlehead ferns packaged in clear bags at the grocery store that I took home cleaned well, sauteed in butter and garlic, surprised how much they tasted like asparagus.
Wild asparagus patches around the homestead is still watched carefully by other neighbors and sometimes picked in the middle of the night before others can get to them.
Foraging skills use to be a way of life and every day our land is being flashed forested, bulldozed for more housing and concrete jungles. So, if you find yourself out hiking more these days and appreciating what mother nature provides us. Why not learn more about how to grow or forage to make some very delicious recipes much like my Edible Flowered Chèvre.
- 4 – 8 ounces of fresh goat cheese (optional-blue cheese or cream cheese)
- Variety of edible flowers and herbs*
- I used dill sprigs, wild pansies/violets, and clover blossom
*NOT EVERY FLOWER/PLANT IS EDIBLE and you should always refer to a medical or plant forage professional. NEVER use flowers from roadsides or any plant that may have come in contact with pesticides or other chemicals.
Identify the flower or plant exactly and eat only the edible parts of the flower or parts.
Use flowers sparingly in your recipes as they may cause digestive complications.
- Soften cheese to room temperature. Using small ramekins for each 4 ounces of cheese. Line the ramekin with cling-wrap or parchment. Press softened cheese into the ramekin firmly.
- Unmold the cheese on a small decorative plate and remove wrap or paper. Decorate by gently pressing edible flowers or herbs into the cheese making a pretty design or pattern.
- Serve immediately with crusty bread or crackers.
- You may wrap tightly in cling-wrap and refrigerate up to 3-4 days.
Great for Garden Parties, Spring or Summer Picnics, or a Simple and Easy Appetizer served with your best bottle of wine!
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