Wild Things Round Up - Best of 2012

Welcome to the final Wild Things Round Up in 2012.  This month, I asked people to share their very best recipe made with a wild ingredient in the last year.  It excites me very much to see what they shared.  These are recipes from a wide variety of people, all of whom have made wild foods a comfortable part of their kitchens.


Meg at the Joy (of Cooking) Kitchen blends earthy nettles with potatoes in her Nettle Champ.


Holly Yuba Botanicals grew fond of beach plums (cousins to my own beloved ditch plums) this year and used them to infuse a gin and make Beach Plum Gin Fizz.


Ann of Eat Simply, Eat Well has shared her love of the bilberries that grow throughout the forests of Finland. She used them in Bilberry Almond Cake with Bilberry Sauce.


Lady Rice is a woman after my own heart, as she also loves locally harvested crayfish.  Here, she's created a recipe for Spicy Yabbies, which are tossed with a fragrant spicy chili sauce.


Incorporating wild foods into your everyday meals needn't ever be complicated (although sometimes that is fun, too).  Wild Food Girl says that this Salad with Rosehip Ginger Vinaigrette was one of the best things she made last year.


I take a lot of good natured ribbing over my love of humble dock. But just look at this amazing dish that Lacy of Laughing Lemon Pie created by substituting dock in Julia Child's baked spinach recipe. Call me biased, but I think Dock au Gratin would make anyone swoon.


Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook's Hank Shaw has cooked with more wild foods this year than most of us have probably even seen.  Being a mushroom geek, I was captivated by his updated article about matsutake, that also included a recipe for the traditional dish, Matsutake Gohan.


Rebecca, the mistress of potions at Kings Road Apothecary is well known to create medicinal magic with elderberries.  But the girl can throw down when it comes to cooking them as well.  She's chosen her Elderberry Chutney as her very best wild food recipe of the year.


Patricia DeMarco has shared her recipe for Sesanelp, a nutrient-dense seasoning made from seaweed and nettle seeds.


Roast 1/2 C Sesame Seed in a fry pan to your liking.
When cool, place in blender and add 2/3 C nettle seed,
2 T dried nettle herb or more
3 T kelp granules
2 T nutritional yeast
1 tsp. Celtic or real salt
Blend till fine.
Store in a glass jar.
Goes great  as a sprinkling on a wide variety of foods.


 Herbalist Rosalee de la Foret used a bounty of chokecherries to make a sweet-tart Chokecherry Jelly.


 Mossyyess, who live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon is lucky enough to forage for candycap mushrooms.  One of her favorite dishes is to saute them with chanterelles, salt, pepper, and a dash of nutneg, then mix the mushrooms with goat fromage blanc and serve it over mashed buttered yams.


Diana, of the Dyhanaverse used rose petal marc strained from rose-infused coconut oil to make a luscious wild chocolate treat.


One of my absolute favorite foragers in the world is Mia of Transitional Gastronomy. We seem to cook on the same wavelength, always with an eye toward creativity, tastiness, and fun. That how I know, without ever having tasted them, that her recipe for Acorn Clouds has got to be excellent.


Ananda of Amrita Apothecary has been very generous with her knowledge of ways to use conifer, both medicinally and as food. You're going to love her article, and I bet you'll come away with at least one conifer product you want to make (in fact, I dare you to pick just one).


My friends at the 365 Kitchen share my love of cow parsnip seeds, and have used them in a rub on their Venison Carpaccio.


2012 was the year of the porcini for me.  I'm excited to be able to cook with them all year long, since I was able to harvest a nice amount to stock my pantry.  The tastiest dish I made all year was a simple bowl of noodles with porcini broth and a soft egg on top.  I think you'll also love my Porcini Ramen.


Best wishes in the year to come everyone! I hope your wildest dreams come true.

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