Wild Things Round Up - Wild Card

Welcome to the final Wild Things Round Up for 2011.  This is the year that foraging really took a foothold, from the mainstream, all the way to the world's finest restaurants.  People are beginning to have a widespread awareness and appreciation of wild foods.  It seems that just about everyone is taking a second look at the feral plants right in their own backyard, and are wondering how to cook with them.

As you know, this is how Wild Things was born.  Wild Things was created as a way to inspire people to take baby steps and learn to add a few wild foods to their kitchen repertoire.  This year, Wild Things has featured herbs ranging from conifer tips, to rose petals, to acorns.  And each month, real life people who pick and cook with these foods have shared their creations.

To finish off the year, Wild Things in December is a wild card - any ingredient goes!  This month's round up includes each contributor's very best recipe from the year.  I hope you enjoy this collection as much as I have, and return to it again and again as each food comes into season.

Since it is a busy time of year, I hope you don't mind that I haven't included my usual description with each entry.  I'll just let the recipe titles and pictures speak for themselves.


Venison Braised with Chili, Chocolate, and Wine from Artemis Herbals.


Elkslip Green Curry from Wild Food Girl.


Sumac Mashed Potatoes from the 365 Kitchen


Spaghetti Squash Gratin with Chanetrelles from Cindy Bodnar.


Homemade Wine from Penniless Parenting.


Coconut Prickly Pear Sherbay from Herb Mother.


Dock Roll from the Dyhanaverse.


Stuffed Yucca Blossoms from Formation of a Foodie.


Puffball Piccata from the 3 Foragers.


Sweet Cicely Marzipan from Wildman Steve Brill.

Sweet Cicely Marzipan

Here’s a version of this German confection enhanced with a hint of the
licorice flavor of sweet cicely.

3-1/2 cups almonds
2 tbs. almond oil
 2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tbs. vanilla extract
2 tsp. clear liquid stevia
2 drops bitter almond essential oil (optional)
 1 tsp. powdered ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup silken tofu, drained
2 tsp. sweet cicely root, finely chopped, or ½ tsp. star anise, ground
 1/2 cup carob powder, or as needed

1. Grind the almonds into a fine meal in a food processor.

 2. Add the almond oil, almond extract, stevia, vanilla, ginger, and
salt, and process again.

3. Add the tofu and sweet cicely and process into a paste.

 4. Roll into balls 1 inch across and roll the balls in carob powder.
You may chill the paste before rolling it out into balls to make
rolling easier, if desired.

Makes 3 dozen

Preparation time: 45 minutes


From Auburn Meadow Farm, My Haw! (hawthorn fruit).


Nettle, Sage, and Sweet Potato Biscuits from Intuitive Integral Healing.


From Cauldrons and Crockpots, Black (Tea) and White (Fir) Cake.


From my friend Knuckles, a delicious wild meal.

Gilded Ramp Spoon Bread...

melt 1/4 pound org butter
saute a grip of ramps, cut into small pieces.
add apx 5 cups stock, (NO SALT if store bought)
check seasoning and add salt and ground white pepper to taste. easy on the pepper at first.
add apx 1 cup organic, stone milled, corn meal
whisk vigorously as you add
let simmer for about 10 mins, stirring
fold in about 1/2 cup organic parm type cheese
fold in 3 organic eggs.
place in baking dish of appropriate size, no larger than 2 qt.
Bake 25 min at 350
Serve hot and stand back...it's gonna go quick.

Porcini Consomme... or, what to do in January with those killer shrooms you foraged and dried over the summer. Any shrooms will do.

(all organic)
roast apx 8 pounds of bones (beef marrow and or chicken) until brown and yummy (you will see the meaty pieces start changing colors. do not turn them black, but you can let the tomatoes and vege start to turn black.)
reserve 1# of ground meat (matching the bones)
about halfway roasted add the below:
3 stalks chopped celery-chopped
3 carrots-chopped
3 onions -chopped
10 roma tomatoes- cut into med pieces
1 leek- cut
1 head garlic cut in half

place all into a stock pot or large roaster
4 bay leaves
1 T black peppercorns
1 oz fresh thyme
1 oz fresh rosemary
4.5 qt water

bring to a boil
remove bubbles or scum carefully.
simmer overnight without lid (partially cover to be safe)
do not let it reduce more than a bit
strain, place container into sink of ice water to help cooling
put in fridge
next day
soak 4 oz of home dried (crushed), wild foraged Porcini in just enough boiling water to cover. Let sit 1 hr.
remove fat cap,
pour the porcini water in the pot
add 6 whole eggs to the ground meat (fresh minced stock vegetables and herbs are a plus)
add this mix to the stock pot
add the egg and ground meat mix
place pot onto medium heat(pot must have a heavy bottom or it will burn)
cover partially to get it started and do not stir
the mix will slowly cook and clarify the stock as it cooks
it will rise as it cooks
after it has risen to the top, simmer another 10 mins
carefully strain the stock-slice part of the raft and carefully flip out of the way onto the other piece of raft
use a ladle to remove the stock and strain through a strainer lined with coffee filters
season your, now, consomme with salt and ground white pepper
any garnish needs to be steamed or poached, if you saute it, it will leave oil drops on the consomme
serve and enjoy
I find just some freshly cut chives (paper thin) are the perfect garnish


From Survival in the Wasteland, Mint and Purslane.


 From Wild Blessings, Wild Yummy Eggrolls.


 From Born in the Wrong Century, Rose Hip Ketchup.


Warm Bacon and Dandelion Salad from Boulder Locavore.


From Kate at What Grandmother Knew, Potage Bonne Femme.

Purslane is common in most gardens and looks like a low growing, spread out Jade plant. It is very high in Omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamins A, C, and E and is considered a 'power plant' for those in the know! Recently, some diversified farmers markets have started to carry it, and I found it in bundles at a Farmers Market in Ojai, CA. There are many tasty ways to serve purslane: in sandwiches instead of sprouts, in salads, as part of a stir fry, and sauteed with other vegetables. It is also pickled by some, and used in Fatoush in the Middle East. Here is an easy French soup that incorporates both purslane (Portulaca oleracea) and sorrel (Rumex acetosa). Sour grass or wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosa) may also be used in place of Rumex acetosa. It looks like a clover leaf but tastes quite lemony and also grows all over the place.

Potage Bonne Femme

1 Cup each Purslane & Sorrel (or 2 Cups of Purslane), chopped
1 Leek or a small onion, chopped
4 TBS Butter
4 Cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)
2 medium Potatoes, peeled and diced
3 TBS Cream
Salt & Pepper to taste
Fresh Purslane to garnish

Sautee purslane, sorrel, & butter in a covered pot until onion is translucent. Add potato and stock and cook covered until potato is tender. Mash with a potato masher, rub through a sieve, or puree in a blender. Stir in cream and garnish with fresh purslane. Serve either hot or cold.


 From Eat Weeds, Sea Purslane Pesto.


And finally, my own best recipe of the year, Chicken Livers with Highbush Cranberry Sauce.


Sending out a great big thank you to everyone who participated in Wild Things this year.  Hope to see you back next year!  Happy foraging.

I'm sharing these lovely wild recipes with Real Food Wednesday, and Pennywise Platter Thursday.


  1. wow butter, there's some good lookin grub on here- thanks for all your hard work putting this together, happy new year- rico and beth

  2. My Goodness! I am amazed and stunned at the variety and deliciousness of this feast of all that's wild...including the humans!! Thanks Butter for doing this

  3. Happy new year, my friends! Thank you so very much for sharing your treats with Wild Things! Here's to an amazing 2012!


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