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Here’s how to identify and eat the wild greens of spring: Dandelions, wild lettuces and other wild chicories. These are pleasingly bitter, super nutritious and awesome with meats and pasta.
Pike dumplings, or quenelles, to be exact, are an ancient preparation for the bony fish, but any fish will work here. These are light as air and are perfect floating in a clear broth – in this case, a wild mushroom broth.
This is my homage to the North Country, where wild rice and pike, walleye and perch are king. These fish cakes are made with pike from Manitoba, but you could use any white fish. Mixed with mustard, herbs and wild rice, they are easy to make and wonderful to eat.
If you’ve never braised pheasant thighs, you’re missing out. Unlike the drumsticks, which can be fiddly, the thighs on pheasants (and wild turkeys) are sublime when slow cooked. This recipe is based on a French one and uses lots of mushrooms.
The professional mushroom pickers call this time of year Winter Pick. It’s a time of abundance here in Northern California, a time when you can conceivably come home with 20 different kinds of edible mushrooms. It’s my favorite time of year.
I had the chance to fish for speckled seat trout in Texas last month, and had a helluva good time! I also managed to bring back some trout fillets to cook with back home, so I decided to do a decidedly Texas spin on sea trout.
Paw paws, the Hoosier banana, custard apple or Indiana banana. America’s largest native fruit, is indeed a little bit like a banana — and it makes a great ice cream.
The process of coming up with recipes for this site isn’t always an easy one. Working with wild ingredients is very different from using standardized, store-bought stuff. It can be maddening, but when the recipes work, it’s all that much better.