Here at Ridgefood we’re big fans of foraging for edible plants and flowers in nearby Forest Park. Last week we filled a giant bag with wild garlic mustard—an invasive yet delicious species that permeates the park in April. So what to do with all these greens? We tried making garlic-mustard chips (like kale chips), but the delicate leaves don’t hold
up well to baking and sort of dissolve into your mouth immediately upon eating. Instead, we prefer to simply sauté the leaves in a bit of coconut oil and a dash of salt. They cook down very quickly, like spinach. The greens’ bitterness teams up well with a bowl of fried rice, and of course a runny egg on top to mellow out the garlic mustard and tie everything together. Continue reading
Ever since we went on a foraging tour with “Wildman” Steve Brill in Forest Park back in April, we’ve wondered what other kinds of edibles our park had to offer. Sure, Japanese knotweed and burdock root is cool, but what’s even better? WILD BERRIES! (And mushrooms, but that’s another post.*) Continue reading
Hello friends! It’s been awhile! Last weekend we went on a foraging tour in Forest Park with “Wildman” Steve Brill, a notable and notorious naturalist who leads tours in parks all over the New York City metropolitan area. We highly recommend checking out one of the tours (especially in nearby Forest Park, which we love); “Wildman” is a super-nutty and extremely knowledgeable guide, and it’s a fun and thrifty activity for all ages. On this tour, we foraged such springtime delights as field garlic, common plantain, garlic mustard, burdock root, wild carrot, mugwort, violet, honewort, sweet cicely root, black birch, devil’s walking stick, chickweed, dandelion, wood sorrel, Japanese day lilies, and our very favorite, Japanese knotweed.
A member of the rhubarb family and visually reminiscent of asparagus, Japanese knotweed can be found in Forest Park in the spring. The firm spears are hollow, so slicing them crosswise yields “O” shapes. We’re having a late spring this year, “Wildman” said, and the ‘weed will be harvestable for another week or two (they’re best as short, young spears). We found our ‘weed at the bottom of a thorny hill, just over a wooden (I think) roadside barrier along Freedom Drive. I’m not sure of the exact coordinates but if you want to try foraging some Japanese knotweed this weekend, let me know and I’ll try to be a little more descriptive! Anyway, after an exciting day in Forest Park, we took our knotweed and other foraged goodies home and baked these delicious Japanese Knotweed, Carrot & Apple muffins (more photos & recipe below). Continue reading