New & Now

Weeds, Roots, and Leaves

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Some chefs are giving new meaning to local and seasonal foods: at a recent Food Book Fair event, diners were fed a novel and unusual array of foraged foods (read: weeds).

Chefs experimented with an array of wild plants that makes ramps seem as commonplace as butter lettuce; stinging nettles are sheer child’s play. Present on plates that evening were tamarack shoots, ground ivy, and cattails (yes, the same ones that call to mind the swampy wetlands of the Catskills). For the culinary adventurers in our midst, though, it would appear that cattail cooking isn’t all that difficult:

"I sliced them and cooked them down in butter, like leeks. Then I put them in a cast iron skillet and crisped them up to get a light, crunchy texture."

There you go, there's lunch. Just make sure you pick the right – and edible - weed.

From Weed to Whimsy: Chefs Conquer Wild Foods with Butter and Oil from NPR