Thursday, May 21, 2015

Shopping for dinner


Union Square is green at last.


The fiddleheads of ostrich ferns (Mateuccia struthiopteris) are still at the market, driven down from Vermont twice a week, where the season is well behind ours. Although I think they are delicious, I am curious about the impact that harvesting has on natural populations of the fern. 


And I was pleased, and also amused (despite myself), to see lambs quarters (Chenopodium album) for sale. I bought almost half pound. Ouch. Yes folks, your 'weeds' are selling in New York City for $6 a quarter pound. Eat up! Lambs quarters are closely related to quinoa, and are very nutritious. I am growing my own planterful on the Harlem terrace. Personally, I think they blow spinach out of the water, once cooked.


And another green in the foraging vein, but cultivated, in this case: a skinny-leafed species of plantain, Plantago coronopus


Also known as erba stella, and minutina.


So, supper, with a dessert of the first strawberries I have tasted this year, was: a risotto with the fiddleheads (cooked for a minute, first), and asparagus tips. The Frenchman scraped the pot.


Tonight? Lamb's quarter phyllo triangles with feta and sumac, and the salad of the minutina.

10 comments:

  1. The triangles were simply delicious. More!

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  2. Looks delicious! I share your concern regarding fiddleheads. Used to pick them evey spring when visiting my sister in VT. Our go-to spot was by a river not too far from Burlington, and the supply seemed endless. It was not, given the demand for these tasty treats and many folks' lack of knowledge (or caring) about sustainable harvesting practices. At least in that one atea, the Ostrich Fern population has been practically wiped out. I hope it was the exception, not the rule.

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    1. Huh - not good to hear. The double edged sword of wild food evangelism is exactly that.

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  3. Here in Alaska, we pick wild fiddleheads ourselves.

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    1. Lucky you! Do you stick to ostrich fern or use others, too?

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  4. ... Hello Marie ... love reading your posts ... just delightful ... and so interesting it has been over a year since I came across your blog and have enjoyed every single post ... thank you, bye for now Simone

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  5. Marie, I inadvertently sent a comment to a blogpost from 2014, and I am not sure if you see them, so here it goes again: wondering if you know anything about eating broadleaf plantain? Out chemical free lawn is full of them and I understand they are edible.

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    1. Your lawn sounds nice. It is probably a salad bar. Plantain is only palatable - to me - when the leaves are very, very young: the smallest ones that appear in the middle of the plant - very pale green and still not completely unfurled, are suitable.They taste like raw button mushrooms. Some people eat larger leaves but they are terribly fibrous. Experiment.

      (I do see comments on older posts - but they first they go into a moderation holding pen, so they are only published after I've approved them.)

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