For the next month (or until I reach my Patreon funding goal) I’m going to be sharing free previews to my Gathering Diary (A Patreon Reward).
I’m out foraging, cooking, taking pictures and eating with wild edibles nearly everyday, but there just isn’t enough time to write full recipes for everything I experiment with in the kitchen. So in my Gathering Diary I hope to give a better idea of the wide variety of delicious edibles and healing herbs on offer each season, as well as tips for how prepare, preserve, cook and make medicine with them. Here I’ll post photos of the plants I come across, as well as notes and recipe ideas, some of which (if they are successful) will make it to the blog. I hope it will not only entice you to become a Gather Patron but inspire you to experiment along with me!
And I emphasize experiment. These are not recipes that have been exhaustively tested, these begin with an inspiration and are created with dash of this and a handful of that. Only if I like the result will I make the dish a few more times, honing the measurements and cooking process, to come up with a finished recipe for the Gather website. But even then these recipes are far from perfect – I’m not a chef, just a home cook!
So with that warning out of the way, let’s launch into the first installment of my Gathering Diary. While these are NOT finished recipes, I will try to give you a peek into my process as I search for practical and delicious ways to transform the vast array of seasonal wild edibles I find outside my front door into easy, tasty, inexpensive daily dishes. ~ Danielle
Wildcrafted Colcannon: Buttery Mashed Potatoes with Wild Winter Greens
Satisfying, buttery and hearty, this traditional mashed potato dish is filled with healthy wild greens appearing everywhere right now. One of my seasonal favourites, it’s the perfect comfort food for cold winter nights when you want something that sticks to the ribs. The Irish know this dish as Colcannon from Gaelic cal ceannann meaning “white-headed cabbage” and for the past few hundred years (since they had potatoes) it’s become a customary dish served for Imbolc. Made with mashed potatoes, fried cabbage, onions and plenty of butter and cream, it often features ham or bacon.
Although my Oma made this dish into a more traditional Dutch Stamppot with kale, leeks (or scallions) and bits of bacon, I’ve reworked her recipe to include the wild winter greens growing in Victoria right now. And I want to make it for Imbolc! (for more click here)
Potato & Fennel Frond & Parmesan Cheese Tart
Yes, we are well on our way to spring here in Victoria. And this tart is inspired by the first verdant fennel fronds emerging in Victoria’s warming landscape. Foeniculum vulgar is a member of the carrot family which includes cumin, coriander, anise, dill and celery – which is exactly what it’s fronds taste like – a savory combination of all.
Sweet, tender, intensely flavoured, you can throw them into a salad (delicious!) or sauteed into vegetable dish, or you could make this hearty, satisfying and flavourful potato tart for dinner. Not only has been eaten since ancient times, it is a healer extraordinaire. In virtually every herbal healing tradition, fennel has been used to soothe indigestion, heal gastrointestinal issues, relieve tension, cleanse the blood and promote circulation…for the full post click here.