Thursday, April 15, 2010

A free lunch?

I didn't get a chance to pack a lunch this morning so I decided to forage my noon meal form the timber surrounding my office. Lunch was a salad that consisted of Basswood (Tilia americana), Dandelion (Taraxacum), Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica), and Meadow garlic (Allium canadense) greens topped of with Trout lily (Erythronium albidum) flowers. 

I didn't have any dressing to go on the salad, but I think that's better in this case.  Each green had a different subtle flavor and any dressing would have overpowered them.  Of all the greens on my salad my two favorite are the Basswood and the Meadow garlic.   The Basswood has a light, almost sweet, "green" taste to it, and the Meadow garlic tastes like, well, garlic.

If I were to add anything to a salad like this I think it would be simply oil and vinegar.  I wonder how maple sap vinegar tastes...

I was inspired to try my salad in large part to a new post by fellow Iowa blogger Wandering Owl over at his blog.  Be sure to head over and give it a thorough reading.  He's A LOT better at posting regularly than I am. 

Have you done any foraging lately?  I'd love to hear about it.

9 comments:

wanderingowloutside said...

Thanks for the link, Norse! Hopefully somebody will find something interesting.

And foraging. This is going to be the year of the thistle for me - roots and stalks. Already have one bull thistle root peeled and ready. And maybe going to give milkweed pods a try. Oh, and burdock roots and stalks this year. And, really, anything else I can find. Going to harvest some watercress tomorrow (and maybe a trout) while I'm out looking for morels. The woods are looking like they are about ready!

Murphyfish said...

Hello Norseman,
Excellent post, already and avid follower of Owl's, it's well worth taking the time to peruse his blog. as for foraging food I've not yet the knowledge to trust myself with this, but I'm slowly learning.
Regards,
John

Mel said...

When I worked as a Wilderness Ranger on the east side of the Sierras (California) one of my favorite meals was freeze dried mash potatoes and wild garlic. There was nothing natural or local about those potatoes, but the wild garlic I collected made the whole meal seem special.

Mel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Norseman said...

WO,
My pleasure. You've been a booster for me, just returning a favor. I have not had bull thistle yet. Still need interested in that book?

Murphyfish,
A great book on the subject (which WO may have reviewed) is The Foragers Harvest by Samuel Thayer. It's the best laid out, and easiest to follow of all the books in that genre (in my arrogant opinion).

Mel,
When I was in the BWCA working as a Ranger we used to pick fresh blueberries for our outmeal, so I know where you are coming from. Did you ever get you Ex-Ranger Club Decoder Ring? I'm still waiting for mine...

wanderingowloutside said...

Yep. I'm still interested. I found it on line, but there's nothing like the real thing. Do you work most weekends there? I should be getting down there soon to get some fishing done with my Dad.

Norseman said...

WO,
Unfortunately I do work most weekends. Nature doesn't take a day off, so neither do I...

Perkunas said...

Hey man,how u being there?

yes i did that crooked knife.its crude but seems to do its work fine.in the picture i havent done the final edge though so the blade is bit wavy.

Deus Ex Machina said...

I will be perusing you blog more thoroughly, just checking in. I am certainly envious of your work ... someday, I hope to be able to earn a living working with nature.