The Feisty Forager: Milkweed
March Madness — Day 30 Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a delightful plant that pleases not only the Monarch butterflies that come to drink its nectar, but humans who go adventuring in pastures and fields. The early shoots can be pulled and parboiled a time or two, then sautéed and eaten like young asparagus. Young flowers and buds can be gathered and turned into fritters, or steamed and eaten as broccoli.
March Madness — Day 30
Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a delightful plant that pleases not only the Monarch butterflies that come to drink its nectar, but humans who go adventuring in pastures and fields.
The early shoots can be pulled and parboiled a time or two, then sautéed and eaten like young asparagus.
Young flowers and buds can be gathered and turned into fritters, or steamed and eaten as broccoli.
Milkweed pods can be gathered in early stages (before the interiors become silky) and used as one would use okra. A favorite recipe involves roasting over an open fire, brushed with fresh garlic and butter, salt and pepper and a bit of cayenne.
This article is one of a month-long series of foraged treasures. For more recipes from the field and forest, check out Appalachian Appetite: Recipes from the Heart of America.
The Feisty Forager: Daisy
March Madness — Day 28 All members of the Asteraceae (aster) family are considered edible, including the ubiquitous daisy, a long-time lover of country and city person alike. Who didn’t grow up with the little ditty “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true…?” My mother, on the day she married…
The Feisty Forager: Wild Ginger
March Madness — Day 27 Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense), or foalsfoot, is a low growing ground cover with a generous network of rhizomes, velvety heart-shaped leaves, and a burgundy-brown flower which appears under the leaves at ground level. The rhizome is both gingery and peppery, although not as potent as…
The Feisty Forager: May Apple
March Madness — Day 26 May apple (Podophyllum peltatum), also known as mandrake, hog apple, ground lemon, Indian apple, raccoonberry, and umbrella leaf, is a beauty of a plant, both in its foliage and its drooping flower, and is frequently an indicator that morels may be close by. Toxic except…
The Feisty Forager: Morels
March Madness — Day 24 Morels (Morchella spp.) are some of the earliest edibles to appear in the springtime, and some of the least likely to be misidentified. They are also some of the most difficult to spot amidst the leafy leftovers of winter. Favorite hangouts are at the base…
The Feisty Forager: Poke Sallet
March Madness — Day 23 Poke sallet (Phytolacca americana) has long been a staple in the Appalachian South. As Southern Foodways Alliance member Joe York says, it’s free and you don’t even have to plant it or weed it. “Some people can’t live without it once they’ve tasted it.” In…
The Feisty Forager: Wild Mustard
March Madness — Day 22 Mustard greens are yet another expression of the Brassicaceae family, and are the delight of spring fields in France, where they proliferate and can often be seen painting the countryside in generous swaths of yellow (when in blossom), frequently offset by brilliant red fields of…