NYT article, Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food

forageThis weekends New York Times article, Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food, discussed the need to choose the correct fruits and vegetables to ensure we are getting high levels of phytonutrients from our produce.  I found the article prescriptive, some stated and some is my interpretation.

  • Choose arugula as your go to lettuce.
  • Forage for food or look for wild foods at farmers markets such as morels, ramps, chickweed, purslane, wild dandelion... whenever possible.
  • Choose an heirloom in season apple in order to get the most nutritional benefits.
  • Choose yellow corn over white corn.
  • Choose purple potatoes over white potatoes and blue, red or purple cornmeal whenever possible.
  • Use spring onions and include the green part, this is very easy this time of year when they are abundant at farmers markets.
  • Use large quantities of fresh herbs....

I am anxious to read the author, Jo Robinson's book, Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health.

Sunday Morning Foraging

A good friend invited us last Sunday morning, mothers day, to go foraging with a guide.  She told us the trip was inspired by an outing she went on with her mother 30 years earlier.  Her mother was in town visiting which made it all the sweeter.  Sunday morning after a particularly hectic weekend of flowers and cooking I was not eager to jump in the car and head to Takoma Park–– it was so worth it! I have a limited knowledge of a handful of mushrooms that I hunt in the fall, some greens that I find in Rock Creek and in my neighborhood but this was so much more.

Matt our guide, is knowledgeable and was fantastic communicating with our group which spanned about 6 decades in age. We talked edible, poisonous, science, native plants, invasive plants... Best of all–– we found food and not just novelty food... food that I will go in search of because in spite of the fabulous farmers, foragers and purveyors that I work with there were some things we found Sunday morning that I cannot get unless I go find them!

IMG_3498Stropheria Rigosa Mushroom– usually found in mulch, I have never had much luck finding spring mushrooms I will be on the lookout for these.

IMG_3495Sassafras Root– I chewed on this for most of our walk. IMG_3492Black Locust Flower, A favorite!  A friend who was on the walk called yesterday morning after dropping her kids at school because she found a tree with low hanging flowers... I plan to visit later this week.

IMG_3521Anise or Sweet Sicily, I need to go back and get some to flavor sorbet, fruit salad, a coconut based ice cream... IMG_3522Wild Garlic– got greedy and took lots!  I think it will show up on weekend Home Restaurant menu.IMG_3515Spice Bush, red allspice like berries in the fall... cannot wait to pair with fall squashes and fruits.

IMG_3518Tulip Poplar blooms, if you can get to them while they are filled with a sweet nectar, I am anxious to get a hold of some.

IMG_3510Cat Tails– also known as Cossack Asparagus, bottom is edible in the spring!

IMG_3509Bamboo Shoots, pick in spring, peel, blanch... unbelievably good–– in search of a large convenient patch!

IMG_3521Garlic Mustard Greens, these would be so good sautéed!

IMG_3505Wine Berry, ready in July– looks like a colorless raspberry... I have seen them before but never knew I could eat them.