Dandelion & Calendula Breakfast Egg Cups: The Perfect Marriage of Health & Flavour

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These egg cups were inspired by Jennifer’s upcoming nuptials. Because ever since she and my brother announced their upcoming wedding, the women in the family and invited close friends have been “watching their weight”. Including me. Normally I don’t pay much thought to the extra padding one accumulates around the middle (from consuming too many possets) but there is something about a summer wedding that motivates one to look their best, which sigh, sadly in this day and age, means slimmer.

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And it was to the egg cup I turned. High protein, low carb, its reputation as the perfect diet and convenience food is well known. I found oodles of recipes online. Described as a “natural choice for a healthy, active lifestyle”, “guilt-free, fast, and easy” and ready “to eat on the go”, they are clearly a fuelling favourite for busy women everywhere. And packing them with spinach and chopped vegetables, makes them doubly good for you.

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But in the end it wasn’t cutting carbs that convinced me to explore the glories of the breakfast (in my case more brunchy) egg cup, it was the many mouth-watering recipe images I discovered on Pinterest.  And now I’m sorry to say that it took me so long to give them a try!  The rich eggy flavour, the savoury feta cheese, the flavours of fresh herbs – all combined in a perfect storm. And eaten warm from the oven, these cups are no mere convenience but a comfort food extraordinaire.

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And yes, they are super healthy. Especially this version which is filled with the wild super-greens of the season like dandelion and wild mustard, not to mention tasty healing herbs like lovage or the antioxidant and flavonoid packed calendula petals.  But it is lovage’s distinctly celery like taste which gives this egg cup its wonderful flavour.

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Upper Left Corner: Lovage, Bottom Left: Dandelion. Strewn throughout Calendula & Dandelion petals

I chose lovage for no particular reason other than it was just so abundant and vibrant. In our community herb garden one plant is well over 6 feet already!  Lovage is a member of the parsley family, and its aromatic flavour has been described as celery, anise and curry like, which has long made it a favourite herb for soups, stews and stock.

And not only did it work to season this egg cup beautifully, I’ve discovered since that it can help aid weight loss. Well, according to the internet anyway.  Billed as a cleansing herb that helps expel toxins from your body, research suggests it works as a diuretic that encourages water loss without losing electrolytes in the process.

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Bottom left corner: Lovage leaves

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From bottom left to top right: field meadow mustard greens, calendula petals, dandelion leaves

Dandelion too is a renowned diuretic, used by herbalists to detoxify the liver and support kidney function. Its bitter qualities, like the pungent qualities of mustard, also stimulate and support digestion. And the better your food is digested, the more nutrients you’ll absorb from your food. Plus studies have shown that better digestion leads to better metabolism  – which helps us burn fat more efficiently!

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But in the end, I love these egg cups not because they are so healthy, but because they are just so warming, yummy and pretty.  Recently I served them up to my visiting mother and sister and law for breakfast – and they absolutely loved them. So much so we ended up eating the whole dozen. Some diet. Who cares? Sometimes there are more important things in life that watching your waistline!

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Dandelion & Calendula Breakfast Egg Cups (With Feta & Lovage)

(serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • Splash of cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced dandelion leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced wild mustard greens
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh lovage leaves
  • 3 tablespoons of calendula petals
  • 1/4 of large onion or half of small onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • tablespoon of olive oil

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Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease cups of a muffin tin.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper until smooth.

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  • Lightly saute your greens with olive oil, garlic and onion, add in the feta, give a stir.
  • Remove from stove and fill your muffin cup with the mixture (about 3/4 full).
  • Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the cups are solid and slightly brown on top.
  • Let cool 10 minutes, and then remove from muffin tin. Eat warm if you can!

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Naked Pasta: Wild Garlic Gnudi

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Wild Garlic Gnudi “dumplings”

Love gnocchi? Then try Wild Garlic Gnudi! Not only does this lesser known “naked pasta” take waaay less work, it’s high in protein (made with Ricotta cheese) and just bursting with vitamins, minerals and healing properties. And if you love the green oniony flavour of chives, scallions, and leeks like I do, then, Allium vineale, paired with a salty cheesy grating of Parmigiano Reggiano makes the satisfying comfort of pasta  – pretty guilt free.

Allium vineale, commonly know as Field or Crow Garlic, is one of the most plentiful and overlooked wild plants. Her fall bulbs are from the same genus (Allium) as garlic, shallots and onions, but it’s her fresh, vibrant oniony spring greens we’re focusing on here. And they can be used in any recipe that calls for scallions, chives or green onions or sprinkled fresh over salads, soups, vegetables, side dishes – I could go on.

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Herbalists consider Allium vineale a tonic plant, which means it’s packed with nutrients that help stimulate and cleanse (or tonify) our bodies and especially our digestive systems.  Studies have shown that Allium contains sulphur compounds (which give their oniony flavour) and can help reduce blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, even act as a prebiotic encouraging the growth of gut friendly bacteria!

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Image from Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook by Dina Falconi; illustrated by Wendy Hollender.www.botanicalartspress.com. Lots of recipes in this wonderful book for Field Garlic and other wild greens! 

And Allium vineale is everywhere. Originating from Europe and brought over by settlers, she is now growing wild from the west to the east coast, in lawns, fields, open woods and trailsides. But in spring she often difficult to see because she blends so easily into nearby greenery. But look closely and soon you’ll notice plants that look just like chives – tall, spindly, with dark to bluish green leaves.

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And you’ll know you’ve found her for sure as soon as you take a whiff, because you can’t mistake her oniony aroma. And like chives, Allium vineale can be identified as having a hollow leafy structure with a single hollow tube.

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Once you’ve located a patch, it’s just a matter of snipping off the greens with scissors and piling them into a basket. Once home you’ll go through your greens and discard any flat grasses or leaves that may have been accidentally picked in your harvest (some could be toxic). And you’re ready to begin.

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The rest is simple too. For this recipe you’ll need a tub of ricotta, one egg, cup of flour, pinch of salt and 1 cup of greens.  Traditional Gnudi recipes don’t even use flour, so if you want a gluten-free version there are plenty of recipes online. But if you go flourless you will have a wetter finickier dough that will be harder to work with. Be warned. 

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Left: Gnudi w/ flour & Ricotta cheese Right: No flour Gnudi with Cottage cheese

But either way you go, both are equally delicious although different in texture, the flourless cottage cheese gnudi being less dense and much lighter.

Whatever ingredients you choose, you will combine them into a simple dough, from which you will pinch off plump balls and roll into whatever shape you desire. These you boil for 7 minutes or so, then slather with a fresh tomato sauce, brown butter or nothing but a grating of cheese and sprinkling of pepper.

Heavenly flavour! Good Nutrition! Easy to make! Wild Garlic Gnudi is great.

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Wild Garlic Gnudi

Makes about 1 Dozen

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped Wild Garlic Greens
  • 1 cup Ricotta Cheese (or Cottage cheese)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of flour
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • four tablespoons butter (for browning)

Directions

  • Chop & mince your greens, the finer the better.
  • Combine with the Ricotta cheese, eggs, 3/4 cup of flour, pinch of salt and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
  • Mix well and form into a dough. Knead and add rest of flour till it becomes a workable consistency. Don’t overwork.
  • Break off small clumps of dough, roll in flour and fashion into dumplings about 2 inches long and an inch wide.
  • Boil water, add some salt and a few drops of oil. Once boiling roundly drop in your Gnudi and let boil for about 7 – 10 minutes. Don’t overcrowd your gnudi as you boil!
  • Drain.  Place in a fry pan with butter & allow to brown up slightly.
  • Sprinkle with rest of grated cheese, some chopped greens – and serve!
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Left: Cottage Cheese Gnudi       Right: Ricotta Cheese Gnudi

P.S. I just fried the cottage cheese version straight up (skipping the boiling which made it even easier) and it tasted just like a “naked” perogy!

Eating Wild: The Missing Link to Optimum Health

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love that wild foods are the most nutritious, natural and sustainable of all foods – which is why they are a daily part of my diet. But because I still have to pay for the bulk of my sustenance, I’m ever so grateful to food journalist Jo Robinson and her wonderful book “Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health”. And while I do have one small reservation (more on that later) her book provided me with a practical and empowering guide to the most nutritious foods that money can buy – the fruits and vegetables closest to their wildest relatives.

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Touted as “the next stage in the food revolution—a radical way to select fruits and vegetables and reclaim the flavour and nutrients we’ve lost” her book drives home the point that whether its tomatoes, kale, lettuce, apples, berries, wheat and grains – all our foods descend from wild foods. The problem? “Ever since farmers first planted seeds 10,000 years ago, humans have been destroying the nutritional value of their fruits and vegetables. Unwittingly, we’ve been selecting plants that are high in starch and sugar and low in vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants for more than 400 generations”. 

In other words, we bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet. For example, our pale overbred iceberg lettuce (descended from wild greens) contains only a fraction of the nutrients found in wild lettuce, dandelion, nettles, chickweed, garlic mustard, sheep sorrel, yarrow, garlic mustard and many other herbs and plants which have been consumed by our ancestors since prehistoric times.

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Her book shows us “how to regain these lost nutrients by choosing modern varieties that approach the nutritional content of wild plants.” From lettuce, potatoes, onions, berries and apples, she categorizes over-domesticated foods to avoid and provides lists of foods are closest to their original  “natural” state like green apples, green onions, black concord grapes, artichokes and many other varieties. 

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All of which begs the question – why not just eat wild foods in the first place? This doesn’t mean giving up the sweet starchy pleasures of the modern diet to scratch in the dirt for leaves, seeds and roots. To me it just makes sense to go back to the source and add back as many lost nutrients as we possibly can.

Which brings me to my small bone of contention. While I agree with Robinson that living on wild plants is no longer feasible – “there are too many of of us and not enough wilderness” her book fails to mention that wild foods are a viable, nutritious, freely available food source that can supplement modern diets, enhance our health and increase the security of local food systems. And we don’t need to shell out for pricey superfoods either – it’s as simple as stepping out our front door, picking some dandelions and making a soup.  

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Cream of Dandelion Soup

Fact is, eating wild doesn’t require wading deep into the backwoods, or trampling endangered ecological areas. Wild plants grow in abundance as “weeds” in our backyards, our neighbourhoods, our city parks and urban green spaces. Many of these plants are so plentiful they are classified as “invasive” by our government and are eliminated at great effort and cost (often with carcinogenic pesticides) in our regional parks and local municipalities.

And in this time of rising food costs, climate change and food insecurity, does it really make sense to eliminate foods that require no work or resources to plant, grow or water? After all many of these plants and herbs like chickweed, thistle, burdock, dandelion, gorse, lambs-quarters, garlic mustard, blackberry and hawthorn, were once part of a beloved seasonal and medicinal cuisine eaten for thousands of years. 

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Of course we can’t just step outside and start picking everything we see. Some wild plants are poisonous. But the truth of the matter is that edible plants far outweigh deadly ones. And once we learn to identify and avoid harmful plants, a vast cornucopia of nourishing food abundance begins to offer itself; fresh greens, berries, nuts and herbs. And they are growing all around us – for free.

I realize that for many the idea of eating “weeds” is still, well, a little strange. But wild foods are part of a growing ecological and culinary movement grounded in the virtues of local sustainable eating – and they’ve been enjoying 5 star ratings in the worlds top restaurants for years!

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Wild Food Dishes by Noma

That said,  it’s important to remember that wild foods are more a return to tradition than a trend.  Not always the sole provenance of “back to nature” hippie dippy types, big-bearded hipsters, top chefs or ethnobotanists – they were the food of the people. Knowing which plants to pick and when, how to prepare them, and how to use them medicinally, was part of body of traditional knowledge passed on through the generations. Both my grandmother and husband’s mother remember being taught by their mothers and grandmothers how to forage for such seasonal delights as wild berries, nettles and mushrooms.

So what happened? How did we lose this knowledge in the space of a few generations? One reason could be the emergence of food experts (funded by agribusiness) whose food pyramid charts told us the “right” way to eat. A way to eat that put profits in pockets by convincing us that “real food” was the food we buy at the store. And slowly those foods not mass-produced by industry, became just plain forgotten.

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But today, as the nutrient levels of domestic foods dwindles (and prices skyrocket) it’s become more important than ever to learn how to eat wild once again. As a wild food educator and activist, I believe its time we recognize that wild foods are a valuable food resource for local communities. And as such, I advocate they deserve a place at the table alongside food security initiatives such as community and boulevard gardens, urban farms, urban orchards and food forests. Because by finding a way to give “weeds” a little space of their own to grow in our community green spaces (free from toxic chemicals) we can once again make their nourishing sustenance accessible to all.

So while I urge you to pick Robinson’s book and spend your food dollars on the wildest foods possible – let’s also remember there are other options available beyond the supermarket aisle. With just a little investment in community education, wild foods could be transformed from pests and weeds into vital food resources, part of an evolving “agri-hood” in which communities, in harmony with their local environments, can feed themselves.  So let’s begin to take wild food seriously and recognize as Robinson does, that they constitute the missing link to our optimum well-being .

Note: If you live in Victoria you can hear Jo Robinson speak at the upcoming Sustainable Health and Wellness Festival. Link here.

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Chickweed & Peppercress & Rosemary Pate

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It’s been such an unseasonably warm winter up here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve literally been swimming in wild greens.  And while it seems wrong to benefit from the ill-gotten gains of climate change, well, you still gotta trust mother nature to know what’s right – right? 

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So if she wants me to feast on her tender and succulent Chickweed and Miner’s lettuce in January, so be it. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing – so much so that I’ve been casting about for some new exciting ways to take advantage of the green bounty.

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left to right: chickweed, peppercress, miner’s lettuce

So I came up with this Winter Greens & Sunflower Seed Pate, and it’s perfect for cold winter days when you crave something a little more hearty than a salad. Inspired by this recipe for Chickweed Pate, based on wildman Steve Brill’s original, I tweaked it with what was already found in my cupboard.

I used white navy beans instead of chickpeas and substituted Rosemary for Tarragon because I thought it would complement the flavours of the navy beans better (and besides I had none anyway). I also added sunflowers seeds for crunch, and because Peppercress (otherwise known as Bittercress) is coming up like crazy in my garden beds- and I like its peppery bite – I added some leaves as well.

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I love that’s its full of protein, not to mention the nutritional and medicinal properties of the greens themselves. Full of anti-oxidants, vitamin C, chlorophyll and Omega -3 Fatty acids, Chickweed, Miner’s Lettuce and Peppercress are all reputed healers that help boost immunity, ease inflammation, cool inflamed tissues, cleanse our blood, digestive tract and lymphatic system.

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Savoury, creamy, and just the littlest bit peppery, it’s perfect served on crackers or flatbread, and as you can see, I enjoyed it liberally slathered on on miniature scones. So if you too have “spring greens” in winter, this pate will be sure to please. And if you don’t, just wait a while, these tender, delicious and revitalizing greens will be emerging in a landscape near you very soon!

White Bean & Sunflower Seed Pate w/ Wild Winter Greens & Rosemary

Ingredients

  • 1 can of White Navy Beans 
  • 2 ounces (or so) sunflower seeds
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced or crushed)
  • 1 large handful of fresh chickweed, finely chopped
  • 1 large handful of miner’s lettuce, finely chopped
  • 1 large handful of bittercress, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons of minced green onion (or crow garlic greens)
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of miso
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to your taste)

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Directions

  • Mash your navy beans to a rough paste (or you can also give em a quick whiz in the food processor
  • Mix in the rest of  your ingredients and blend well. 
  • Serve!

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Savory Dessert or Sweet Appetizer: Ox-eye Daisy Phyllo Rolls with Honey and Thyme

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Betwixt and between – is how you might describe this time, halfway between late summer and true autumn. This is the time when cooling weather and beginning rains cause the wild greens to regenerate and grow vigorous. 

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Ox-eye Daisy Greens

This is the time of year when the leaves of plants fill with solar energy as it goes about photosynthesis, taking energy to its root.  This not only plumps and sweetens the leaves, it fills them what we might call in yoga, prana or life-force energy.

In herbalism the theory goes something like this. In spring plants send out leaves to soak up the growing sun – but all it’s energy is directed towards making the blossom. After the fruit, as things go to seed, the coming fall sends the plant’s energy back to the root. There it recharges and rests until the sun returns. So this is the time when leaves and greens are fattening with energy for winter.

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Early fall forage: hawthorn berries, rosehips, ox-eye daisy greens, plantain, red clover, self heal, cleaver, wild aster, and grindelia

This “betwixt and between” time is the ideal time to invigorate yourself with a little plant magic.  You can come into the flow of this natural cycle and boost your vitality by eating these fresh, delicious and reinvigorated greens. (And a few of the other seasonal goodies, Hawthorn berries and Rosehips, ripening now.)

Start by going out into your backyard or a nearby field. Look for the healthiest most vital, shining, wild greens. Depending where you live, you might find Dandelion, Chickweed, Cleavers, Plantain – or my absolute favourite Ox-eye Daisy. Make these into something – a salad, a pesto – or how ’bout these Ox-eye Daisy Rolls with Honey and Thyme?

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I think Ox-eye Daisy leaves are sweetest and most delicate of all wild greens. Chickweed is also mild, but Ox-eye Daisy greens have a flavour signature all their own, nutty, fruity with just a hint of bitter.

I wanted to create a dish that captured their unique flavour – without overwhelming it. I remembered a recipe I’d once seen – phyllo “cigars” with goat cheese, honey and thyme. Obviously goat cheese would be too pungent for the Ox-eye Daisy greens, so I would substitute with a creamy Mascarpone and incorporate the greens – inside the roll.  Thus this recipe was born. And in homage to “betwixt and between” it could be either a savoury dessert or a sweet appetizer!

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Ox-eye Daisy derives from the Asteraceae or Compositae family and has been used medicinally in herbalism for hundreds of years. Its Latin name is Chrysanthemum leucantheum which comes from the Greek chrisos meaning golden and anthos meaning flower, while leuka means white. She was the flower of the Scandinavian Goddess Freya and in early Christianity she was the flower that symbolized St. Mary Magdalene. Today she is regarded as an invasive – though edible – “weed”.

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The leaves of the Ox-eye Daisy are pretty simple to identify. They grow in a rosette shape (round) from the base of the plant, and they are spoon-shaped with undulating rounded tooth edges.

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Aside from its many medicinal benefits Ox-eye Daisy has tonic properties. Which means it is used to reinvigorate and support the body. In general, tonics help restore and maintain balance or homeostasis, throughout all of the body systems, plus they increase energy and boost our immunity.

So this humble little Ox-eye Daisy Phyllo Roll offers you much more than delicious flavour. It’s not only good for you, I’m pretty sure it’s bursting with prana and the life-giving energy of the season.

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Ox-eye Daily Phyllo Rolls with Mascarpone, Honey and Thyme

NOTE: This is an approximate recipe, I didn’t keep track of the exact measurements when I put it together. I bring it you early and untested because by the time you wait for me to ‘perfect’ it, the brief window of time during which these greens thrive- might be over!  So adjust to your own wisdom.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Ox-eye Daisy Greens
  • 1 box of Phyllo Pastry (you’ll only need half of it- and look for organic versions!)
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 3 ounces Mascarpone Cheese (or more if you want it creamy)
  • 1/4 cup of organic honey (or more if you want it slathered)
  • Few springs of fresh thyme
  • dash of sea salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Take half of your phyllo pasty and cut into rectangles (approx 10 by 8)
  • Brush the bottom and top layers with melted butter
  • Lightly(!) saute the greens in a smidgen of butter
  • Chop greens finely or throw in food processor
  • Combine with cheese, 1/8 cup of honey, salt and a teaspoon of thyme
  • Spread thinly over phyllo pasty
  • Roll up
  • Brush all over with melted butter (or olive oil) dust with thyme leaves
  • Place in pre-heated oven to bake for approx. 15 – 20 minutes until golden and browning.

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P.S. I also just made this with plantain – and it was really tasty!

Curly Dock Seed Crackers with Wild Herbs (For Prosperity!)

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You’ve probably seen the tall reddish-brown spires of the mature curly dock everywhere in fields, yards and lanes – but you probably didn’t know they are food. A member of the wild buckwheat family, each plant contains thousands of seeds which are very easy to harvest, and wild food websites abound with recipes for curly dock seed flour, bread and crackers.

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Curly dock seeds have an amazing life span, they are said to be viable for 80 + years!  So it’s not outlandish that all winter I’ve had a jar of rust coloured seeds sitting on my shelf earmarked for a cracker making project. This finally came to culmination last week when I decided I needed some wild canapés for our very first Community Supported Foraging meeting. That went okay so I decided to make them as a snack for our Wild Edible Culinary Tours at the Creatively United For The Planet Festival last week-end. And as you can see below, they went over quite well!

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And so, due to requests, here is the recipe!  If you don’t have any curly dock seeds on hand I bet you can still find them in a field somewhere near by. But you can always use buckwheat flour bought from the store.

Because I’d read that the flavor of curly dock seeds are not much on their own, I decided to add in some seasonal spices to these crackers. First, I chose the fresh tiny mustardy pods and blossoms of the Money Plant (a wild mustard) which I diced. It is pictured above and below.

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To this I added a generous helping of tangy crunchy sheep sorrel seeds, and then the oniony flavour of minced crow garlic (allium vineale). And while that may sound a little pungent, these crackers were surprisingly mild.

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I harvested my curly dock seeds on a sunny September day and lay the seed heads on paper-lined cookie trays to dry. After a week I simply winnowed the seeds and the husks from the stalks by hand, they came off very easily. Because (as I often apologize) I am a lazy cook I went the easy route and kept the chaff and husks together. (Many online recipes advise keeping the husks as they add fiber and don’t detract from taste.)

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But if you want to use just the seeds, you can rub the seeds briskly between your palms to take the husks off, then use a sieve with holes large enough that will permit the seeds to go through but not the chaff.  At any rate, whether you’ve got just seed or seeds and husk, just take it all and grind in a spice mill or coffee grinder, then store in an airtight container for future use.

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Perhaps because of the abundance of seeds the plant produces, the magical uses of curly dock are said to attract success, commerce and prosperity. Add to this the magical monetary power of the money plant and you’ve got yourself some wealth attracting crackers! So if you’re looking for a little financial boost perhaps put some of the pretty purple blooms of the money plant in a vase, or some hang some dried curly dock stalks from a rafter somewhere. Or you could just eat them of course!

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Curly Dock Seed Crackers w/ Wild Herbs

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached (preferably organic) white flour
  • 1 cup ground curly dock seed flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons minced crow garlic stems
  • 3 tablespoons minced money plant seed pods and blossoms
  • 3 tablespoons sheep sorrel seeds
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter cut into half-inch cubes
  • 1 large farm egg
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  • Mix dry ingredients ( but reserve one tablespoon of sorrel seeds) together
  • Add cold butter and cut into flour with pastry cutter until well mixed
  • Add egg, vinegar and water and combine until dough forms a soft ball
  • Let the dough rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes
  • Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Using a rolling-pin on a floured board, roll out until dough is 1/8 inch thick

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  • Sprinkle the rest of sheep sorrel seeds onto dough then using the roller lightly press them into the dough
  • Cut out into squares with knife, or cut out shapes with cookie cutters ( I also used the cap of my oil olive container – I wanted them small)
  • Using a fork prick the crackers to prevent air bubbles
  • Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 F until lightly browned or about 15 minutes 
  • Serve immediately or store in an airtight container

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P.S. If you’re interested in the yogurt cheese that accompanied the crackers you’ll find the basic recipe here. I used garlic mustard, money plant pods and blossoms, sheep sorrel seeds and crow garlic for flavouring for the cheese instead of the herbs listed in the linked recipe. But you can use whatever you like!

Nettled Eggs: Tasty Little Spring Devils

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This spring I’ve been blessed with multiple bumper nettle harvests and I’ve been able to try my hand at all sorts of nutritious and crazy delicious recipes like nettle lemon balm cupcakes, nettle ginger jelly, nettle chips, nettle-infused honey, nettle pesto and now…nettle devilled eggs!

I needed something to serve at our first Community-Supported Foraging Initiative meeting and due to my amazing powers of disorganization—it was going to have to be made from whatever I had on hand. Thankfully, I had a dozen Red Damsel Farm eggs and a 1/2 cup of pureed nettles just dying to meet each other…

Ingredients

1/2 cup of steamed & pureed nettle tops

12 organic, farm fresh eggs

2 tablespoons organic mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon finely chopped crow garlic (wild garlic) + some for garnish

1 tablespoon finely chopped cleavers (tops)

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic mustard

sea salt & pepper

chive blossoms, dandelions, daisies, forget-me-nots, sweet woodruff, spring gold, rosemary flowers, sweet cicely blossoms

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Instructions

Boil the eggs in simmering water for 10 minutes. Drain them and cover with cold water.

Cut the eggs in half and pop out the yolks. In a medium bowl, mash the yolks with a fork.

Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice and cleavers. Mix thoroughly.

Start adding in the pureed nettles until you get the consistency you like. You can use a food processor for this if you’re after a silky smooth filling.

Stir in the chopped wild garlic mustard and crow garlic and season with sea salt & ground pepper to taste.

Pipe the filling into the halves and decorate with colourful blossoms. Chive and rosemary blossoms add a particularly wonderful flavour.