When I first took interest in foraging, I would just sit and nibble little bits of dandelion leaves or wood sorrel in the yard. I didn’t really know where to go from there. How to cook wild greens or pair flavors with other ingredients still remained mysteries to me. But I didn’t want to merely remain a rabbit forever.
While I am certainly no expert in this field, I have begun collecting and trying different recipes for wild greens (among other foraged goods). Without further ado, I present to you:
Seventeen ways to use wild greens!
- Add them to soup as a green, or turn them into the main ingredient for soups. French-style sorrel soup is a popular forager’s option (from Hank Shaw), and Susan of Learning and Yearning suggested making wild greens the star of your favorite cream soup recipe (instead of boring old broccoli. 🙂 ).
- Make them a pizza topping. Why not?
- Add them to your egg dishes.
- Make them the green part in your green smoothies.
- Add them to salad, or make them the main ingredient in a salad. (Try this milkweed and radish salad from One Acre Farm for starters.)
- Put them on a sandwich (like my garden sausage sandwich), wrap, or burger.
- Roast them. (Try roasted wild mustard buds from Little Fall Creek!)
- Make them into pesto. I’ve heard of both dandelion pesto (Learning and Yearning) and nettle leaf pesto (my sister-in-law’s sister’s idea).
- Pickle them, like these pickled wild onions in honey-rosemary brine featured on The 104 Homestead. (Doesn’t that sound exotic?)
- Saute them as a side dish- this pairing of greens, salmon, and sweet potato sounds delicious and different (Letters from Sunnybrook), or perhaps this mix of wild mustard greens, dock, and onions? (Little Fall Creek.)
- Try adding them to polenta. (Little Fall Creek.)
- Turn them into sauces and seasonings, such as sorrel sauce from Mother Earth News. (My brother-in-law also enjoys using sorrel as a garnish/edible bed for fish, in lieu of lemons!)
- Use them as a dolma wrapping- Hank Shaw uses mallow leaves for this, and Botanical Arts Press has a bunch of ideas for stuffing wild grape leaves.
- Substitute them for spinach, like in this recipe from Herbal Academy of New England.
- Make them into vinegar, dressings, and marinades. (Herbal Academy.)
- Drink them like a coffee or as a tea. (Also from Herbal Academy.) We love drying plantain and stinging nettle for tea leaves alongside our more common herbal teas. Seriously.
- Use them for skin care remedies. (Have I mentioned how much I’ve been digging Herbal Academy?)
Always remember to check and double check your wild plant identification before you eat it. This blog post isn’t meant to be a complete field guide to identification. Once you know what you’re looking at, gathering from your yard isn’t so scary- but make sure you do your research first just to be safe. 🙂
I hope this list has inspired you to try something new. We just gave the dandelion pesto a whirl last week! Go get picking and cooking, and let me know what you come up with. 🙂
This post was linked up at The Homestead Blog Hop.