Foraging for Spring Greens and Mushrooms

I am so glad to have found the foraging group at the Cincinnati Nature Center. I’ve only been to a few of their outings, but I have so enjoyed this group of like-minded folks. I am learning too, which I always enjoy.

At last week’s meeting we went out in search of spring greens and mushrooms. Everyone really wanted mushrooms but the guide told us not to get our hopes up because mushrooms are as fickle as teenage girls.” 🙂

We came back from the woods with baskets full, mostly of greens, and sorted out spoils into piles of like items – cattail shoots, burdock, chickweed, violets, Dandelion, bittercress, wild onion, plantain, winter cress, clover, Creeping Charlie and more! It was neat to see it all spread out on the table.

One lucky lady did find a stash of edible mushrooms though I can’t remember the name of this one now.

After we took stock of what we had, we split into groups and pairs and got to preparing some treats to enjoy. One group made a fresh salad using a variety of greens. The trick to this is not putting in too many bitters. A lot of spring greens are bitter but things like violet leaves, day lily shoots and plantain soften the taste.

I helped make a dressing for the salad. We didn’t have basil or dill so we used some wild onion and garlic mustard for a punch of flavor.

Above РOne group cooked cattail shoots in some broth. Another saut̩ed a mushroom mixture using the ones found and some others our guide had brought with him from home.

Below – one man cleaned up some burdock root which tasted a lot like radishes and would make a nice addition to a salad.

This concoction was some kind of mushroom our guide brought that feels like your earlobes. Super weird texture but had a nice crunch and a great flavor in this dish with fresh cilantro and Asian seasonings.

I think the prize for best dish had to go to this crostini. The woman who made these browned the bread in oil and topped them with a sautéed mix of greens. Next she made a sauce with Gorgonzola and cream and drizzled that over it. Some toasted walnuts finished it off. I could have eaten a plate of those! So good.

It’s great for the spirits to spend time outside in the fresh air, meeting new people, learning and preparing delicious food to share.

What are you foraging for right now?

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