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Jack O' Lantern


The Forager's Spring Feast
A Celebration of Spring

LeeksMorelsBrook Trouticon-fern.jpg (16797 bytes)

To learn more about  the  wild foods above click on an image or the name below:
Wild Leeks | Morels | Brook Trout | Fiddleheads

Roy Reehil, President of The Forager Press, LLC, with a dandy
stringer of Brook Trout for the frying pan

What could be better than a foraged feast to celebrate Spring!

It's usually about the first of May before I set out to collect some of my favorite spring edibles. Old haunts are revisited, having yielded their delicious abundance of greens, mushrooms or good fishing before. I have had the opportunity to assemble this meal many times with slight variations. It's always celebration on so many levels; the joy of the trip, the walk, the find, the catch and the feast. And of course, the celebration of another season of green to come.

  • Appetizer: Fresh morels (yellow, black or semi-libera) fried in butter till just done.

  • ferns and black morelsThe main course: Brook Trout, dusted with salt, flour and fried in butter or grilled. I stuff the body cavity with wild leek leaves, salt, pepper and a dab of butter before cooking. Add a few of last season's venison steaks to the mix, flash fried with some sliced leeks and I call that Adirondack Surf & Turf.

  • Vegetable: Fiddle Heads sautéed with butter and fresh chives, purple flowers and all, with a dab of Dijon mustard to finish.

  • Mashed potatoes with wild leeks and garlic.

  • Served up with a Saranac Pale Ale or a glass of your favorite wine. Now that's living!

If no fiddle heads are available, another nice spring vegetable is the ubiquitous dandelion. Pick the leaves from a place that doesn't receive any lawn treatments or chemicals early in the season before flowers form and before they turn too bitter. You can use dandelion greens in any "greens and beans" recipe.

My method is to wash the dandelion greens is several washes of water. Cook some garlic in olive oil until it begins to brown, put in the dandelion greens, half a cup of water and a bullion cube. Cook till the dandelions are soft and then toss in a can of cannellini or red beans. Some crumbled bacon or chipotle peppers add a little kick.

Happy Foraging
- Roy Reehil

PS - I spend a lot of time outdoors, so why not come home with an arm full of free natural food that the rest of the world ignores? A collapsible fishing pole can add a fish to the fire too.

I knew an old timer who grew or collected much of the food he ate. Besides doing it because he was a depression-era skin-flint, he used to say something like this:
"The plants I grow in my garden or collect in the woods have to fight the same vermin, [bacteria, molds, viruses] that I do -- the ones that live around here. They've developed immunities over hundreds of years to survive, so when I eat them I get the benefit of that evolution. When you buy fancy vegetables from Florida, Mexico or South America, what good does that food do you? Might even do you some harm."

It's an interesting thought that has stuck in my mind long beyond his passing.

Here's an outstanding Wild Leek Recipe

LeeksMorelsBrook TroutChanterellesBlack TrumpetsPorchiniHen of the Woods

To learn more about each of the delicious wild foods above click on an image or the names below!
Wild Leeks | Morels | Brook Trout | Chanterelles | Black Trumpets | Porcini | Hen of the Woods

If you are new to collecting wild foods be sure to check out our
Wild Food Basics our Credo and  Disclaimer

PicturesWild mushroomsWhat's in the pot (Dot Com Holdings of Buffalo, Inc)

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