Free-Range Greens (long)

dcarch7May 5, 2012

I've never liked the term "Forage". To forage is to rummage, and to scavenge. I prefer "Harvesting free free-range greens".

What greater way to celebrate spring than to indulge in one of Mother Nature's most generous contributions to the world of veggies? Delicious and healthy greens all on the house, Mother Nature's house!

I am always very excited about this time of the year. While nothing I have seeded is ready for the kitchen, but the garden is abundantly offering gifts in profusion.

From nourishing Mother Nature --------!

She creates slim and blissful spears of Daylily stems of pure deliciousness, more so than endives.

She thrills me with the first growth of crispy hosta shoots poking up from the good earth, which are more elegant in taste than asparagus.

She gives life to delicate ramps (wild leeks) that can embellish the simplest dishes as well as enhance the great creations of chefs and ordinary home cooks.

She magically makes silvery Lambsquarters appear from nowhere to make you wonder why anyone needs to bother with spinach anymore.

There are many more, but if not spending good hard earned cash offends your pride, the following can be procured, if only this time of the year and for just a few days in upscale stores:

She excites the imagination with curious looking fiddlehead ferns which can satisfy the most fastidious connoisseur.

She frustrates dedicated hunters of morel mushrooms in playing games of hide and seek. Morel, the queen of the Mycological domain, bursting with essence that can jazz up any ingredient inventory with their veritable gastronome versatility.

The long wait for springtime is over. Some dishes I have made with spring's bounties.


A Quick Lambsquarters on Lamb-burger

Ramps with grouded lamb omelette

Shrimp with hosta salad

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Beautiful! So far I've had a batch of nettles and of course fiddleheads. My daylilies are just getting established - no harvesting this year. My favorite 'free-range greens' are milkweed. I saw my first shoot today - soon.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 10:48PM
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I wanna come over to your house for food!

Gorgeous photos, beautiful layout, deliciousness on my screen!


    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:09PM
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Beautiful photography!
I eat stinging nettles steamed & dandelions & pig weed. Planted ramp seeds 1 1/2 yrs ago & they just sprouted this spring!?! My personal suggestion, when harvesting ramps, I wouldn't pull the entire plant out of the ground. I see roots on them in your photo. Just cut very low down at soil level, but leave the plant in the ground. It will re-root & not be over-harvested, as if often the case with this plant.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:33PM
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Thank you everyone. Finding good stuff to eat right in your garden is truly "sourcing locally"

Maggie, Yes, I mostly just use the green ramp tops and let the bulbs keep on producing. For that particular dish, I was being silly to see if the roots would be edible. They are not. LOL!

I just found a few dryad's saddle mushrooms in a nearby woods and a lot of wild chive scapes.

Going to have one nice dinner made. :-)


    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:07PM
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Beautiful, Dcarch. I always learn something from your posts.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:42PM
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beachlily z9a

I'm chuckling about eating daylilies. I only grow them for flowers (that's the lily in my name). Seems like blasphemy to eat the stalks. Are you eating the wild daylilies that grow in the north--the fulvas? Of course, mine are the hybrids that can get sorta expensive.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 10:59AM
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Thanks Jenny. Endless gastronomic possiblities for vegetarians.

Beachlily, yes, those are wild-like-weeds Daylilies. The more you eat them the more they multiply


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 7:07PM
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so it's the "eat them to save them" mentality extended to wild lilies, LOL.

I'm just waiting for the lambs quarter and the purslane, it got warm here so early that the dandelions are already big and bitter. Then, of course, it snows or freezes, so we go from 80F to 25F in 8 hours. I don't know a single person who has found a morel yet this year.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 11:19PM
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Went into a near by woods and found a lot of wild chive scapes.

So wonderful with Tilapia.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 12:20AM
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