Sunday, May 3, 2009

Spring Forage Menu

Had a fabulous romp through Vermont fields and woods for an annual spring forage--or as some prefer to call it--wild crafting. Following is the menu Chef Ted hand crafted from our finds:

Vermont pheasant with wild leaf salad, sherry & citrus vinaigrettes

fiddlehead soup with Maine lobster & crab, and scallop

wood-roasted salmon with sautéed ramps, Japanese knotweed, and potato-ramp pie, sauces of ramp, chive oil, and duck stock

wild ginger cobbler with Japanese knotweed ice cream and candied Japanese knotweed

Lee Jones said of his experience,"We thought it would be mildly amusing but it turned out to be a blast." T'was a beautiful and delicious feast!

This wild leaf salad (pictured) was comprised of leaves from Canadian white violets, trout lilies, dandelion, sedum, plantain, and Ox eye daisy. The violet leaves are sweet and comprised most of the salad. Trout lily, violet, and dandelion flowers are all edible. We shredded the dandelion flower as a sprinkling garnish. Pick only two inch dandelion leaves as larger ones are too bitter. Use sparingly in a salad unless you love bitter. Hearts of cattail (similar to hearts of palm) were poached with lemon and salt, and dressed in a citrus vinaigrette and arranged around the leafy greens.

I'll post more photos and blahg more in detail about specific ingredients in upcoming posts. Meanwhile don't assume you know what to pick by this list of ingredients, and if you do know, don't pick from polluted waters or unnaturally fertilized lawns.