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I call this recipe thistle soup. Little pheasant meatballs in a clear pheasant broth served with artichoke hearts and cardoons. It is a lovely light dinner or lunch in springtime. And don’t worry if you don’t have cardoons, you can skip them.
I love the idea of this dish. “Glutton’s style.” Best I can tell is that it is a reference to the fact that virtually every wonderful staple in the Southern Italian kitchen is in this recipe, which will work with pretty much any fish. Tomato, capers, olives, anchovy, you name it, it’s in here.
It is time to harvest nettles here in NorCal, and the first thing I make with them each year is a lurid green nettle pesto to put on pasta or mix into rice or spread on bread.
Some days you remember forever. This tuna fishing trip was one of them. I spent a couple days, 40 miles off North Carolina, in search of tuna. We found them. Oh yes, people, we found them… and with the trimmings of those great fish, I made these Sicilian meatballs.
Called strangolapreti — “priest stranglers” — in Italian, these dumplings made with breadcrumbs, cheese and a green thing (spinach, amaranth, chard, etc) are easy to make and are a great vegetarian main course or side dish for something meatier.
Yellowfin tuna grilled rare and served over a Sicilian-style salad of tomatoes, olives, onions and herbs. What’s not to love?
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.
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.