Northeast Foraging Book Giveaway

Leda Meredith has produced the best foraging guide for the Northeast–a book that wild food gatherers of all skill levels will want to own.”

That’s Sam Thayer’s comment on my book Northeast Foraging: 120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries. And here’s a chance to win a free copy.

Get out there and forage!

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

Northeast Foraging 

How to Forage Juneberries…Plus a Juneberry Pie Recipe

Juneberries jpgJuneberries are one of the first wild fruits to ripen each year in the Northeast, and yet I was still too early. The exceptionally hard winter had delayed this forager’s treat, and as my departure date approached, I was sure I’d have to miss out on them this year.

Fortunately, my friend Ellen Zachos had some of last year’s in her freezer.

If you went on one of my NYC foraging tours last month, then you know where the juneberries are. The fruits were present but far from ripe then.

Go. Now. They will be ready for you.

Juneberries, also called serviceberries, are the fruits of shrubs in the Amelanchier genus. They grow wild in sunny woodland edges across North America, and are also often planted in city parks for their showy early spring flowers and amber autumn leaves.

Recognizing Juneberries

Ripe juneberries look like blueberries growing on a tree – they even have the 5-pointed crown on one end that blueberries have. As the berries ripen they turn from green to red and eventually dark purple.

me & juneberries

A couple of months before the berries appear, the flowers put on quite a show. They have 5 strap-like white petals and numerous stamens at their centers. Amelanchier flowers bloom before any of the leaves emerge, but are often still on the branches even once the alternate, oval leaves unfurl. Those leaves have fine teeth along their edges, thin leafstalks, and turn a beautiful golden-amber color in the fall.

Juneberries have gray bark that is usually smooth but sometimes develops shallow grooves as the plants mature.

Harvesting Juneberries

Picking juneberry fruit in no way harms the parent tree. The berries don’t all ripen at the same time, so expect the harvest to last for two or three weeks. Juneberries ripen sometime between late spring and early summer.

Eating Juneberries

Anytime from when they first turn red all the way through their fully ripe, deep purple stage juneberries are delicious raw. They freeze well, and are terrific in pies, jam, and pancakes. Their juicy pulp is mild and sweet, but it’s the tiny seeds that complete juneberry’s flavor: they have a light almond taste.

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Juneberry Pie

You can use fresh or frozen juneberries in this recipe. If you use frozen ones, measure them while they are still frozen but then thaw them before proceeding with the recipe.

1 double crust pie dough recipe

4 1/2 cups fresh or frozen juneberries

3/4 cup sugar

3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon ground spicebush berries OR 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice plus 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1. Roll out one half of the pie dough and lay it in an 8-inch pie pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine the juneberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, spices and salt. Let sit for 15 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 425F. Spoon the filling into the crust-lined pie pan. Dot the filling with the butter.

4. Cover with the second crust or create a crisscross lattice. Fold the overhang of the bottom crust over the edges of the top crust. Trim off any excess and crimp with your fingers or press with the tines of a fork to seal the edges of the crusts.

5. Bake for 30 minutes. Take the pie out of the oven and loosely wrap the outer edge of the crust in aluminum foil to prevent it from burning. Return the pie to the oven and bake it for another 30 minutes.

6. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 45 minutes before slicing and serving.

1. Roll out one half of the pie dough and lay it in an 8-inch pie pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine the juneberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, spices and salt. Let sit for 15 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 425F. Spoon the filling into the crust-lined pie pan. Dot the filling with the butter.

4. Cover with the second crust or create a crisscross lattice. Fold the overhang of the bottom crust over the edges of the top crust. Trim off any excess and crimp with your fingers or press with the tines of a fork to seal the edges of the crusts.

5. Bake for 30 minutes. Take the pie out of the oven and loosely wrap the outer edge of the crust in aluminum foil to prevent it from burning. Return the pie to the oven and bake it for another 30 minutes.

6. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 45 minutes before slicing and serving.

I first published parts of this post on Mother Earth News.

How to Can, Culture, Pickle, Freeze, Ferment, Dehydrate, Salt, Smoke, and Store Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Milk, and MorePreserving Everything

“This is an essential book for anyone interested in food preservation.” – Ellen Zachos

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

Northeast Foraging 

“A book that wild food gatherers of all skill levels will want to own.” – Sam Thayer

 

Pineappleweed Cordial Recipe – Wild Plant Mixology

pineappleweed cordial med
Pineappleweed cordial is one of my hands-down favorite beverages. To quote my dad, “This is one of the best cocktails I’ve had in a long time.”

pineappleweed medMade with the fresh flowers and leaves of Matricaria matricarioides (a.k.a. M. discoidea), the flavor of pineappleweed cordial is both herby and fruity. It’s like a cross between chamomile and – you guessed it – pineapple.

It’s no coincidence that pineappleweed has things in common with the various plant species known as chamomile. They are all close cousins botanically.

All are low-growing plants that prefer full sun. They have feathery foliage and flowerheads that include a domed, yellow-green center made up of many tiny individual flowers. Unlike the chamomiles, pineappleweed does not have white petal-like ray flowers surrounding the central domes.

Look for pineappleweed in lawns and other open fields, driveways, and roadsides. It is flowering and ready to harvest from mid-spring through early fall. Snipping or pinching off the flowering tops of the plants does not kill the plants, but actually encourages more prolific growth.

Now about that cordial…

making cordial med

Pineapple Weed Cordial Recipe

Makes 1 1/2 cups (about 6 servings); recipe can be multiplied

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups vodka

3/4 cup fresh pineappleweed flowers and leaves, divided

3 tablespoons light honey such as clover blossom (or anything not too strongly flavored; you could also use agave nectar)

1. Put 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the fresh pineappleweed into a clean glass jar. Pour the vodka over the pineappleweed and cover the jar.

2. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons of the pineappleweed into a small glass jar. Pour the honey over the pineapleweed and cover the jar.

3. Place both jars in a warm, sunny spot for 6-8 hours. A sunny window will do if you don’t have outdoor space.

4. Strain the honey through a fine-mesh sieve into a jar or (preferably) something with a pour spout. The warmth of the sun will have liquified the honey, making it easier to strain. But don’t worry if some honey is still gumming up the sieve: the next step will take care of that.

5. Strain the infused vodka through the same sieve you strained the honey in. The vodka will dissolve any remaining honey on its way through.

6. Transfer to a bottle and cork or seal tightly. Serve chilled.

pineappleweed cordial med

Upcoming Workshops and Foraging Tours

Natural Born Heroes (Foraging video with Born to Run author Christopher McDougall)

How to Can, Culture, Pickle, Freeze, Ferment, Dehydrate, Salt, Smoke, and Store Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Milk, and MorePreserving Everything

“This is an essential book for anyone interested in food preservation.” – Ellen Zachos

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

Northeast Foraging 

“A book that wild food gatherers of all skill levels will want to own.” – Sam Thayer

 

Foraging for Japanese Knotweed

Heading back from the North Carolina Wild Foods Weekend. Had a fantastic time hanging out with fellow expert foragers including Sam Thayer and Mike Krebill.

The theme ingredient this year was Japanese knotweed. Here’s a short video I made about harvesting and using this delicious (and highly invasive) wild edible.

NC friends, hope to see you again next year!

How to Can, Culture, Pickle, Freeze, Ferment, Dehydrate, Salt, Smoke, and Store Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Milk, and MorePreserving Everything

“This is an essential book for anyone interested in food preservation.” – Ellen Zachos

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

Northeast Foraging 

“A book that wild food gatherers of all skill levels will want to own.” – Sam Thayer

 

Sorrel Soup Recipe

Whether you use wild or cultivated sorrel, the plant’s pleasantly sour taste transforms simple soup and sauce recipes like this one from simple to extraordinary. You can use wild  sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella), garden sorrel, or wood sorrel (Oxalis species). In this recipe and photo I used a wood sorrel (Oxalis pes-caprae).

sorrel soup medThis recipe could not be more basic. The simple equation of green leafy veg + stock/water + Allium (in this case garlic) + oil + starch (in this case potatoes, but could be rice/barley/parsnips, etc)  makes fantastic soups out of many leafy vegetabes, wild and tame.

Sorrel Soup

Serves 4 to 6

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped wild or cultivated garlic

1 1/2 cups lightly packed wood sorrel, sheep sorrel, or garden sorrel leaves

1 pint water

1 pint chicken or vegetable stock

1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into approximately 1-inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried or 3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a pot over low heat until it starts to shimmer. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

2. Add the sorrel and cook, stirring, until it wilts and turns from bright green to a dull khaki color  (this unfortunate color transformation is normal for Rumex and Oxalis species).

3. Add the potatoes, water, stock, salt, thyme, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender enough to fall apart when you pierce them with a fork, about 20 minutes.

4. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

5. Blend until smooth with an immersion blender or in two batches in a stand blender. Taste and add more salt if you think it needs it. Serve hot or chilled. Croutons for crunch is a good idea.

Variation: use fish stock instead of the stock and water. After blending the soup, return it to the stove over low heat and add some flaky white fish pieces or some shellfish and simmer for 5 minutes.
Upcoming Workshops and Foraging Tours

Natural Born Heroes (Foraging video with Born to Run author Christopher McDougall)

How to Can, Culture, Pickle, Freeze, Ferment, Dehydrate, Salt, Smoke, and Store Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Milk, and MorePreserving Everything

“This is an essential book for anyone interested in food preservation.” – Ellen Zachos

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

Northeast Foraging 

“A book that wild food gatherers of all skill levels will want to own.” – Sam Thayer

 

Clover Blossom Spoonbread Recipe

spoonbread medSpoonbread is a cross between cornbread and a souffle. It is creamy enough to warrant eating it with a spoon, hence the name. In this version, clover blossoms add a dash of color, texture, and a subtle but interesting layer of flavor.

You can use red clover (Trifolium protense)white clover (T. repens), or any other edible Trifolium species in this recipe. In this batch, I used shield clover (T. clypeatum).

clover med

Note that there are plants in other genera that are sometimes called “clover.” For this recipe, stick to Trifolium species. There’s info on how to identify wild clover, plus a recipe for red clover soda bread here.

Clover Blossom Spoonbread Recipe

Serves 4

2 cups milk, divided

1 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons honey (ideally clover blossom honey)

1/2 cup corn meal or polenta

1/4 cup fresh or dried clover blossoms, measured after stripping them from the tough bases and separating them into individual florets

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg, divided

Preheat the oven to 350F.

1. Heat 1 1/2 cups of the milk plus the butter and honey in a medium size pot, stirring occasionally until the butter and honey are completely melted.

2. Meanwhile, combine the corn meal, red clover, and salt in a bowl. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and stir to combine.

3. Whisk the corn and clover mixture into the hot milk mixture a little at a time. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

4. Lightly beat the egg yolk. In a separate bowl, beat the egg white with an electric beater until it forms stiff peaks.

5. Add a spoonful of the hot corn mixture to the egg yolk and stir it in. Add another spoonful and do the same, then add the tempered egg yolk to the pot of hot corn – clover mixture.

6. Add the baking powder to the corn – clover mixture and stir well.  Gently fold in half of the beaten egg white, then the remaining half. It’s fine if the egg white isn’t completely mixed in; in fact you want to see pockets of fluffy egg white in the mix.

7. Spoon the mixture into lightly greased ramekins, filling them no more than 3/4 full. Bake in a 350F oven until puffed up and starting to turn lightly golden on top. Serve immediately.

Upcoming Workshops and Foraging Tours

Natural Born Heroes (Foraging video with Born to Run author Christopher McDougall)

How to Can, Culture, Pickle, Freeze, Ferment, Dehydrate, Salt, Smoke, and Store Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Milk, and MorePreserving Everything

“This is an essential book for anyone interested in food preservation.” – Ellen Zachos

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

Northeast Foraging 

“A book that wild food gatherers of all skill levels will want to own.” – Sam Thayer

 

Foraging with Christopher McDougall for Natural Born Heroes

Twice now I’ve had the chance to go foraging with Born to Run‘s bestselling author Christopher McDougall. He was a novice as far as edible wild plants when we met, but he and his family have been enjoying foraged fare ever since I cooked up some of their backyard last fall. Here’s a quick video about that day.

The reason Chris became interested in foraging was that it was part of the research for his soon to be released book Natural Born Heroes

heroes cvr

I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, but from what Chris told me it follows the history of a man known as The Cretan Runner. This fellow lived off the land in World War II while running the equivalent of almost daily marathons for the resistance.

Natural Born Heroes is also about modern day folks who are keeping alive some of the skills and qualities that enabled The Cretan Runner and his companions to survive. Foraging was one of those skills, and that’s why Chris contacted me to learn more about it.

I’m honored to be part of this project, and can’t wait to read the book this spring!

Speaking of the spring, I’ll be back in the States and already have some foraging tours and classes lined up. Hope to see you at one of them!

How to Can, Culture, Pickle, Freeze, Ferment, Dehydrate, Salt, Smoke, and Store Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Milk, and MorePreserving Everything

“This is an essential book for anyone interested in food preservation.” – Ellen Zachos

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

Northeast Foraging 

“A book that wild food gatherers of all skill levels will want to own.” – Sam Thayer

 

Seskoulopita (Chard Pie in Flaky Phyllo Crust Recipe)

IMG_0402
Seskoulopita is spanakoptia (Greek spinach and cheese pastry), except that it’s made with chard instead of spinach.

Seskoulopita entered my culinary repetoire when my greek grandmother Nea was forbidden to eat spinach, but still allowed chard.

Highlighting the slightly sour and salty overtones of chard, I’ve added preserved lemons to this recipe. You can substitute lemon zest if you don’t have preserved lemons.

I think yia-yia Nea would approve, even though preserved lemons weren’t among her usual ingredients.

Young wild dock leaves and stems (Rumex crispus or R. pulcher are my favorites)   are a wonderful replacement for the chard in this dish.

Seskolopita (Greek Chard Pie in Flaky Phyllo Crust)

Makes 8 servings as a side dish, 4 as a main course

1 big bunch chard

1 large onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon minced preserved lemon peel (from about 1/4 preserved lemon)  OR 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

2/3 cup sour cream OR cottage cheese OR ricotta OR greek yogurt (do not use regular yogurt unless you strain it first or you’ll end up with a runny pastry filling)

1/4 cup grated romano or parmesan cheese

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Salt to taste

1/4 cup melted butter

Phyllo (sometimes spelled filo) pastry dough

1. Put 1-inch of water into a medium sized pot and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, wash the chard. Cut out the midribs and set aside the green parts of the leaves. Finely chop the midribs. Add the chopped midribs to the water and boil for 6-7 minutes.

Drain through a colander into a large pot (so that the cooking water is saved in the larger pot). Let the cooked midribs cool then squeeze out any excess liquid.

2. Very coarsely chop the green parts of the chard leaves and add them to the saved cooking water in the large pot. Boil, covered, for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander. Squeeze out any excess liquid (squeeze hard). Let cool.

3. Preheat the oven to 350F. Meanwhile, sautee the onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes over medium heat (you can use one of the pots you cooked the chard in). Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.

IMG_0398

4. In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients except for the phyllo pastry and the butter. Add salt to taste.

5. Brush a 9×9 baking pan with some of the melted butter. Lay in a sheet of phyllo, brush that with more butter, and repeat the layers 2 or 3 more times.

6. Spread the chard mixture over the buttered phyllo layers.

7. Top with several more layers of phyllo, coating each layer with melted butter. Use the tip of a sharp knife to score the sesskoulopita in a tic-tac-toe pattern. This both allows steam to vent while it cooks and makes it easier to cut into individual portions later.IMG_0401

8. Bake in a 350F oven until starting to turn golden, 30-35 minutes.

You can serve seskoulopita hot, but in Greece it’s more likely to be served at room temperature. Translation: you can make it several hours before serving, even the night before.IMG_0402

How to Can, Culture, Pickle, Freeze, Ferment, Dehydrate, Salt, Smoke, and Store Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Milk, and MorePreserving Everything

“This is an essential book for anyone interested in food preservation.” – Ellen Zachos

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

Northeast Foraging 

“A book that wild food gatherers of all skill levels will want to own.” – Sam Thayer

 

Pickled Jerusalem Artichokes

Crisp, sweet, spicy, and sour, these pickled Jerusalem artichoke tubers are a tasty snack on their own. They are also excellent served alongside curried dishes.

jerusalem artichokes with brine

Jar of Jerusalem artichokes ready to be covered with spiced vinegar brine

 

Jerusalem artichokes are neither artichokes nor from Jerusalem, but rather a native North American relative of sunflowers. Their gnarly tubers are good cooked or raw, especially after they’ve been in the ground for a freezing cold night or two. In fact, I dislike the taste of them until after a couple of freezes have converted some of their musty-flavored starch into sugar. After that, I find them delicious.

Also sold under the name “sunchoke,” Jerusalem artichokes are fantastic pickled. A bonus is that the pickling process seems to help minimize the infamous fart factor associated with this vegetable (although that may have more to do with the smaller quantity you’re likely to eat of the pickled version than you would of blander preparations).

You can find this plant growing wild in North America or cultivated on at least three continents (see Northeast Foraging for more on how to identify and harvest this plant in the field). Jerusalem artichokes are extremely easy to grow if you have a spot that gets plenty of sun: just cut one of the tubers into a few pieces and plant them.

Sweet and Sour Pickled J-chokes

Makes 3 pints

1. Brining

In a large bowl, combine:

Juice of 1 lemon OR 2 tablespoons vinegar

2 cups water

Scrub clean (no need to peel) and chop into chunks no thicker than 1/2-inch:

1 1/2 pounds Jerusalem artichokes

chopped j-chokes

Drop the chopped J-choke pieces into the acidulated water so that they do not discolor.

In a second container, combine:

3 cups water

2 tablespoons kosher other non-iodized salt

Stir to dissolve the salt. Drain the J-chokes that are in the acidulated water and transfer them to the salt brine. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours (or as long as 24 – I did this accidentally the second time I made these, and didn’t notice any difference in the finished pickle).

2. Pickling

Get your boiling water bath set up if you plan on canning your jars of pickled Jerusalem artichokes (see step 4 below).

Combine the following ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes:

1 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon whole allspice or spicebush berries (leave out the black pepper if using spicebush)

1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 whole clove

3. Filling the jars

jchoke pickles

Drain the J-chokes and rinse them under cold water to remove excess salt. Load them into clean jars, leaving an inch of head space.

Divide the following between the jars:

1 bay leaf, broken into a few pieces

3 small hot chile peppers (optional)

Pour the hot brine over the J-chokes, leaving at least 1/2-inch of head space (the liquid should completely cover the other ingredients).

It’s fine if some of the spices from the brine end up in the jars, but if you want a clear golden brine rather than turmeric “mud” at the bottom of the jars, then first strain it through a muslin bag or several layers of cheesecloth.

Wipe the rims of the jars dry and secure the lids.

4. Canning (optional)

If you’d rather skip the canning step, store your pickled Jerusalem artichokes in the refrigerator.

If you want to seal the jars and safely store them at room temperature, first sterilize the empty jars by immersing them in rapidly boiling water for 15 minutes, then process the filled jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Here are the boiling water bath instructions from Preserving Everything. 

How to Can, Culture, Pickle, Freeze, Ferment, Dehydrate, Salt, Smoke, and Store Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Milk, and MorePreserving Everything

“This is an essential book for anyone interested in food preservation.” – Ellen Zachos

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

Northeast Foraging 

“A book that wild food gatherers of all skill levels will want to own.” – Sam Thayer

 

Henbit Noodles with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce

Here’s a recipe to go with what I posted a couple of days ago about winter-hardy henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) and related edible Lamiums.

henbit

A couple of folks responded to my post by mentioning that henbit and its relatives (also called by the unfortunate common name “dead nettle”) have a mushroom-y taste. Okay, I thought, let’s work with that rather than trying to hide it. In fact, let’s boost that mushroom flavor up several notches.

 

rolling out henbit pasta dough

rolling out henbit pasta dough

Here I’ve used henbit greens instead of the usual spinach or nettles in fresh pasta. You don’t need a pasta machine to make this dish: the noodles are deliberately hefty and you can roll them out by hand. You don’t even need a rolling pin: an old wine bottle (label soaked off and removed) will work equally well.

The sauce uses wild mushrooms (fresh or dried) to play off that shroomy flavor in the henbit. Today I used hen of the woods, playing with the “hen” theme. But use whatever tasty mushrooms you’ve got (yes, even supermarket button mushrooms if there’s no alternative).

 

Henbit Noodles with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Serves two as a main course, four as a side dish

1/2 pound henbit leaves

2 eggs

1 T extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, peeled

3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan or peccorino romano cheese, divided

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

3/4 cup semolina flour

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms or reconstituted from dried (save soaking liquid)

1 cup mushroom stock (or soaking liquid from dried mushrooms) OR vegetable or chicken stock

2 tablespoons dry white wine

1/2 cup light cream

1/4 teaspoon dried or 3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

freshly ground black pepper

salt to taste

For the Noodles:

raw henbit noodles

raw henbit noodles

1. Simmer the henbit leaves in very little water for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately run cold water over them. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

2. Pulse the cooked henbit and the peeled garlic in a food processor (or finely mince with a knife).

3. Add the egg and puree the ingredients (or mash together with a fork if not using a food processor).

4. Reserve 1/3 cup of the all-purpose flour. Whisk together the rest of the all-purpose and the semolina flours in a large bowl. Dump the contents of the bowl out onto a clean counter or cutting board. Make a well (indentation) in the center.

5. Pour the egg-henbit mixture into the well in the center of the flour. Mix the flour into the liquid mixture with a fork.

6. Knead the mixture by hand for 10 minutes (or in a stand mixer with the bread hook or food processor with the dough blade until the dough comes together into a ball). Kneading by hand is better because you have more control of how much flour ends up in the dough: stop incorporating more as soon as it is possible to knead the dough without it sticking to your fingers.

7. Cover the dough with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.

8. Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Cut the rested dough into quarters. Roll one of the quarters out with a rolling pin or an old wine bottle until it is as thin as you can get it. Turn the dough over frequently while you roll it out, and dust it with additional flour as necessary to prevent it from sticking to your rolling implement.

9. Give the rolled out dough one more light sprinkling of flour then roll it up into a loose cigar shape. Cut crosswise so that it forms coils of 1/4 to 1/2 – inch wide noodles. Uncoil the coils and lightly dust them with additional flour.

For the Sauce:

1. If you’re using dried mushrooms, first soak them in boiling hot water for 15 minutes. Drain (reserving the soaking liquid) and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Whether you started with fresh mushrooms or dried, coarsely chop them.

2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the mushrooms and a little salt. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms give up their liquid and then most of the liquid evaporates.

3. Add 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium high.

4. Add the thyme and the white wine and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.

5.  Add the mushroom soaking liquid (if you started with dried mushrooms) and/or the stock a small splash at a time, stirring constantly. Each addition should thicken before you add more liquid. When it is all the consistency of a thick gravy, turn off the heat and add the cream and salt and pepper to taste.

henbit noodles with creamy wild mushroom sauce

henbit noodles with creamy wild mushroom sauce

Bring It Together:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fresh henbit noodles and stir gently. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Drain. Return to the pot, add the sauce and 1/4 cup of the grated cheese. Toss gently to coat the noodles with the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2. Serve with additional grated cheese and a little minced fresh henbit sprinkled over as a garnish (or parsley).

How to Can, Culture, Pickle, Freeze, Ferment, Dehydrate, Salt, Smoke, and Store Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Milk, and MorePreserving Everything

“This is an essential book for anyone interested in food preservation.” – Ellen Zachos

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

Northeast Foraging 

“A book that wild food gatherers of all skill levels will want to own.” – Sam Thayer