- Wild Game
It should be obvious by now how much I love spring onions in all their forms. This light, lovely Italian rice dish highlights whatever wild or store-bought green onion you have on hand, spiked with fresh spring green herbs.
A Greek-inspired venison stew slowly simmered with all sorts of wild greens, from dandelions to lamb’s quarters to wild fennel, amaranth, orache — really whatever you can find. Of course this is also great with turnip or mustard greens, kale or collards, too.
Fried morels. Where have you been all my life? Seriously. I have eaten morels for decades, but only recently have I experenced the glory of the fried morel. I am not looking back.
Wild onions, ramps especially, make a great pesto. This is my version, which is pretty classic — but you can play with pesto a lot, changing the nuts, cheese and herbs at will.
Fennel salami, finocchiona, is an Italian staple. There are lots of variations on this salami, but they all require a decent addition of fennel seeds. My version has wild fennel seeds, fennel pollen and ouzo.
Elderflower cordial — really a syrup — is a classic use for these incredibly aromatic flowers of spring. Use this to make homemade soda, add it to gin, or make it into a sorbet whenever you want to remember the first warm breezes of the year.
Fiddleheads are in season in the East and Pacific Northwest, and these crunchy, pretty looking shoots are one of the hallmarks of springtime. They’re featured here in a simple Asian stir fry with wild boar backstrap.
Pickling ramp bulbs — or the bulbs of any large wild onion — is a great way to preserve the harvest. These are fantastic served with cured meats and cheeses, or chopped into a relish or just eaten as a snack.