or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › The Camp Cook › Edible plants - what are your favorites
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Edible plants - what are your favorites - Page 2

post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclopp View Post

I was in Scouts for 40 years. Miners lettece - hands down. I also carry in the car with me only one cookbook --

The Wild, Wild Cookbook - a guide for young wild-food foragers by Jean Craighead George

 

best book I've ever found on the subject

 

Chef Jerry


Do you have any list for edible plant or do you have the link for those? :)

post #32 of 50

Blackberries for me. In the house were I grew up (out in the country) we had them growing absolutely everywhere. They actually had to be backburned to stop from taking over the creeks and gutters. We'd harvest them and make blackberry jams and pies. And of course, I'd just walk around helping myself to them all day long when they were in season.

 

post #33 of 50
I can't believe nobody has mentioned stinging nettles. I love em.

There are only a handful of plants I know we'll enough, but miners lettuce, oxalis, and various berries are all good and easy to find.

I know mushrooms a lot better. I've eaten 25+ species and that list will likely expand quite a bit when the rainy season finally gets here.
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishbel View Post

I use nasturtium flowers, too, Bughut. They add a nice piquancy to a salad.

I've made lavender flavoured scones and lavender flavoured ice-creams, too.


The nasturtium leaves make for good wraps when they're young, too.

post #35 of 50

My favorite thing to pick in the forest when I come across it are fiddleheads, I'm not sure if thats a correct term. But steamed with a little butter is the best way to serve them, they remind me alot of asparagus. Yum :)

post #36 of 50

I'm surprised nobody mentioned dandelion greens.  I remember when  i was a kid my mother, grandmother, italian neighbor and all her female friends would go with their aprons and a little knife digging up dandelion leaves, the young tender ones,  We always ate them as a salad. 

You can talk all your salad greens including arugula, and toss them, i'll take dandelion greens any day.  They need salt, pepper, oil and vinegar, and you should eat the salad with lots of crusty bread (dunking in the oil mixture at the bottom of the dish when you're done.  They're slightly bitter, and very tasty. 

 

Some people cook them but i much prefer them raw. 

 

And want an amazing sandwich?  some good no knead artisan bread with some of this salad with its oil and vinegar salt and pepper on it, and some slices of parmigiano. 

 

I never liked it at the time, but chicory is also great, but a little more bitter than the dandelion, but are good boiled and then eitehr eaten with olive oil and lemon or you heat a frying pan with some garlic in it and olive oil and when the garlic is partly cooked, add the drained greens and toss while cooking.  wonderful. 

 

These bitter greens are a perfect foil for a heavy meat course - their bittereness seems to help your digestion,

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #37 of 50

Regarding book and resources for learning foraging:

 

Sam Thayer & John Kallas wrote truly excellent books (see my reviews on Amazon.com).  I also like Steve Brill's book on spring shoots, which I use in the dead of winter in CT.  The aforemention wild cookbook has one of the authors at another resource, the world's most active Yahoo mushroom group.  Steve Brill is a member of the most active Yahoo plant group.  So, those books and groups the latter being free, I highly recommend. 
 

Sam S.

post #38 of 50

Lambsquaters-after eatting our fill all summer long, we freeze 40-50 pounds for winter use.

Elderberry- blossoms, berries go into cordials and wine

Chickweed-any green vegetable I can harvest in the dead of winter, gets my vote! Plus its taste brightens up any dish.

About 30% of our food comes from wild harvesting.

post #39 of 50

I made a chokecherry and wild apple butter last fall that is great on jam thumb print cookies.

post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecurrypot View Post

Kangkong is a Ipomea Sp. that grows wild, weed like, in freshwater tropical waters all over the world. I grow it in Brisbane over summer in a garbage bin full of water.

 

The Brisbane surrounds are home to a wide variety of excellent bush tucker, including midyim, beautiful little white berries with a sweet guava almost gingery bit going on. Best native berry I've ever tasted, although outside of its small range it's nearly impossible to source unless you propagate it yourself.

 

Easier to come by and more versatile are bunya nuts, which for the uninitiated, are the seeds of the bunya pine. Not your usual pine nuts, these are about the size of a Brazil nut, and the cones can get to the size of a basketball.

 

 


Edited by PadKeeJoe - 1/13/14 at 9:24am
post #41 of 50

If you live at or near the coast, I'm sure you've seen these:

 

 

We call them pig faces, though in So Cal they're commonly known as ice plants.

 

In the late summer and fall, they produce little horns (the "fruit") that taste salty strawberryesque/fresh fig like. When dark red purpley ripe, they're an excellent addition to salads.

 

post #42 of 50

Reply re. So. Cal. foraging, including urban areas:

 

Urban foraging is easy.  There are so many plants you can collect in such areas.  You may benefit from finding somene to forage with or teach in-person, but a lot can be learned from an online group, such as PlantForagers (find in a search engine), which is the world's most active Yahoo! foraging group.

 

Sam S.

PsychologyCT.com

post #43 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcaters View Post
 

You know, it really isn't fair to us city(ish) folk that you get all of these awesome and rare ingredients out of your back yards.  I would like a chance to get out into the woods, find some tasty treats and bring them home to my table.  I'm sure there is foraging of some kind out here in So-Cal, but I would be nervous to go out there and start picking things without having an education.  Any idea how I could get in touch with someone who forages in the area and maybe bribe them into teaching me how not to kill myself with a poisonous mushroom?

 

-J-

For Mushrooms, I'd start by buying the David Arora book's "Mushrooms Demystified" (lots of detail, TONS of different species) and "All the rains bring..." (Pocket guide). Both are kinda Norcal centric, but will apply very well to most of what you'll see in SoCal. MDM is pretty much the bible that most folks in western North America use for mushrooms these days. 

 

Mykoweb is a great online resource companion with these books... Again, very California-centric site. 

http://www.mykoweb.com/CAF/species_index.html

 

There are a few more advanced books that I could recommend if you wanted to get serious, but they'd be pointless if you aren't already fairly skilled.

I'm pretty much entirely self taught with these resources and I've now eaten over 50 different species I've picked myself, with never so much as an upset stomach. These days, I've also got occasional contact with some very knowledgeable folks I didn't meet until I was well along this path. 

 

Just remember a few basic rules...

1. Don't eat anything unless you are 100% sure of the ID

2. When in doubt, throw it out.

3. Learn the really dangerous stuff  (and hopefully collect some and really spend some time paying attention to details) before you start eating anything. In California, there are death caps (Amanita phalloides) and a couple species of destroying angels that are very common, very beautiful, and very likely to destroy your liver if you make the mistake of eating them. 

 

Also. Start with species that are distinctive to YOU. The more you learn the more different species will stand out distinctively and obviously to you. 

 

It's a process that'll take you a few years to get good at. 

post #44 of 50
Quote:

Originally Posted by chadateit View Post

 

Just remember a few basic rules...

1. Don't eat anything unless you are 100% sure of the ID

2. When in doubt, throw it out.

3. Learn the really dangerous stuff  (and hopefully collect some and really spend some time paying attention to details) before you start eating anything. In California, there are death caps (Amanita phalloides) and a couple species of destroying angels that are very common, very beautiful, and very likely to destroy your liver if you make the mistake of eating them. 

 

Also. Start with species that are distinctive to YOU. The more you learn the more different species will stand out distinctively and obviously to you. 

 

It's a process that'll take you a few years to get good at. 

 

Sound advice, throughout.

 

It's usually recommended that people start out with the "foolproof four."

 

Morels;

 

Chicken or "Hen" of the Woods;

 

Chanterelles; and

 

Puffballs.

 

Personally, I wouldn't go for a puffball, though some people like them. It's also too easy IMO to make a rookie mistake, which could be fatal. I'd also advise not eating what someone else claims to be a puffball without doing some extensive ID'ing of all of them myself, beforehand.

 

Chanterelles, once you've seen them and cooked with them (yum) you'll know what you're looking for. They're pretty distinctive, even though there are quite a few species, as well as a couple of disagreeable "lookalikes" -which are readily distinguished by a reasonably observant beginner.

 

Chicken of the woods are unmistakable, though in the Western US in particular, you have to avoid ones growing on conifers and eucalyptus, as they contain toxins from the tree. I found and served up an amazing one in Wales that was growing on an oak tree.

 

Morels are also easy identifiable and distinguished with a few specific observations.

 

While I've only gathered chanterelles and morels in the Pacific Northwest, reportedly they can be found in Southern California, the former likely to be near or underneath conifers or live oaks, in their respective seasons. That is, if it ever rains there again. I'm guessing that the San Gabriel mountains would be a good place to have a look for chanterelles. Morels, too- especially in fire disturbed areas, though those things can turn up anywhere.

post #45 of 50

Mycoweb is good, yes.  A discussion group that covers a lot of territory, including edibility, is MushroomTalk (another group in Yahoo that can be found in a search engine search). 

post #46 of 50

Well I know this is an old thread, but it is already at the top of the forum so-

 

MORELS- They can be found in various parts of the midwest and eastern US.  Morels are easily recognizable and can be distinguished from the false morel by their hollow stem. In the spring use this link and watch that dark green line. When it gets to your location start hunting. http://www.greencastonline.com/tools/SoilTempMaps.aspx

 

ASPARAGUS- I find it along railroad tracks and sometimes along fence rows, both here in Iowa and in S. Colorado.

 

MULBERRIES- I think this is an underrated berry. You don't have to bend over like strawberries, or get scratched up like raspberries and blackberries. Plus no pips!

 

WILD PLUM- I used to pick them from a small grove down by the river. That was 15 years ago. Now that I've moved back I can't find it!!

 

BOLETES & CHANTERELLES- I pick these in the San Juan mountains in Colorado. A friend leads the mushroom foray every year for the forest service and taught me how to recognize them.

 

BLACK WALNUTS- These are a tough nut to crack, they have a much different flavor than English walnuts.

 

CHOKECHERRIES- Don't eat them straight from the tree. Maybe sucker someone else to try. Boil with all the sugar you have and make delicious jelly.

 

I would like to try hickory nuts but so far have only found their cousin, bitternut. Anybody ever try may apple? They are only edible when ripe. I see these often in the spring when flowering, but haven't ever found ripe fruit. Squirrels like them.

 

In the early 1900's a blight wiped out the American chestnut. Too bad I do love the similar  Chinese chestnut. What happened to all the Pawpaw trees? Would have liked to try those.

post #47 of 50

I'd say that 30% of the wild food hikes I conduct are in urban areas. I wouldn't be surprised to find at least 15 edible plants growing very close to anyone's urban home.

I'd say go find some dandelions, plantain (English and broadleaf). chickweed, daylilies, mulberry, birch trees, sassafras, forsythia, violets, pine trees, garlic mustard, purslane, knotweed, lambs-quarters, dock, pennywort, mallow... If you want to find urban edibles, go look for them! I'd start with http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/ My favorite urban forager!


Edited by WildChef - 3/18/14 at 10:01am
post #48 of 50

I'm a wild leek addict!  That is a must plus I-Itoi onions, wild garlic when i can find it.  Will be experimenting with ground nuts (Apios americana) shortly.

post #49 of 50

Steve Brill and other authors are in the PlantForagers group.  Here's a quote:

"

Welcome to the world's most active Yahoo! foraging group, PlantForagers. Our supportive environment welcomes people of all skill levels to freely discuss all aspects of plant foraging. We help each other to identify, creatively cook, and otherwise utilize plants of all types. (Pictured is our owner-moderator's photo of water chickweed [Myosoton aquaticum]).

We own books by many authors, and recommend the following books, foraging videos, & tours by the following valued expert contributors to PlantForagers, ranging from New York to New Zealand:

-Arthur Haines (Ancestral Plants)
-Ava Chin (Eating Wildly)
-Ellen Hopman (For a traditional herbalist perspective: books & DVDs)
-Ellen Zachos (Backyard Foraging & foraging videos)
-Erica, aka "Wild Food Girl" (Wild Edible Notebook)
-Johanna Knox (A Forager's Treasury)
-Leda Meredith (Northeast Foraging, foraging videos, and tours)
-Tama Matsuoka (Foraged Flavor)
-"Wildman" Steve Brill (books, tours, and apps)

For mushrooms, please visit our Sister Sites:
MushroomTalk (the world's most active Yahoo mushroom group): http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MushroomTalk

For Mushroom Horticulture:
MushroomHorticulture: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MushroomHorticulture

Thank you and please spread the word about our group. (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/plantforagers/)."

post #50 of 50

garlic scapes dawg... 

make dat pesto. 

make dat soup to drive away vampires 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Camp Cook
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › The Camp Cook › Edible plants - what are your favorites