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Thanksgiving is the perfect time to revisit the year past, particularly for a wild foods enthusiast. This last foraging season was a doozie in my little corner of the Rocky Mountain region. It was a hard year for the plants, even harder for the people who endured the natural disasters, which only increases my gratitude for the wild foods I was able to pick, including porcini mushrooms for Thanksgiving dinner.
Rough year for wild food
Despite what was, in nearly every way, an unusually hard year for foraging, I was still able to harvest foods throughout the growing season.
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This year there were regular snows and hard freezes right up into May, which meant that nearly all of the tree fruit crops were lost, including wild plums and apples. Summer looked to be a repeat of the previous years’ droughts, complete with destructive forest fires. Then, just as summer was about to end, a flooding rainstorm hit the area, shredding the landscape and forcing people from their homes.
I won’t forget my joy in finding the first green tops of wild onions in the spring, and preserving them in butter kept safe in the freezer. High summer scented my fingers with Monarda fistulosa, also known as beebalm or wild oregano. As summer started to drag its heels, I made my annual trek into the forest to chase down Boletus edulis, porcini mushrooms.
Even now, in what I’ve taken to calling “the year without fruit,” months past the first freeze, and having endured many snow storms, the land still provides. Some hardy greens still cling tightly to the ground, and I’m looking forward to a quiet snowy day in the coming months when I can pick black walnuts out of their shells. My pantry is wonderfully well stocked.
Foraged Thanksgiving classics
I will revisit my year of foraging at Thanksgiving with dishes tickled with wild ingredients. They will taste distinctly of this place I love and cement my foraging memories. It is possible to make a nearly all-wild Thanksgiving meal, and I’ve done so in the past. But because the holiday is a time to be surrounded by friends and extended family, many of whom are unfamiliar with wild cuisine, I usually restrain myself from making an all-wild meal. Instead, I prefer to make a wild twist on traditional dishes — cranberry sauce mixed with highbush cranberries, turkey basted with wild allium butter, or pumpkin pie made with a black walnut crust.
Among my most successful wild-infused Thanksgiving dishes is a stuffing loaded with foraged porcini mushrooms, which can also be purchased from a store if you aren’t lucky enough to find your own. Stuffing made with porcini mushrooms tastes at once wild and luxurious, but also comfortingly familiar. Using the porcini soaking water in place of the traditional broth adds an extra dimension of mushroom flavor to the dish. The eggs in this recipe add extra binding power to the bread cubes, but they may easily be omitted if you are serving vegans or those with egg allergies. This Thanksgiving stuffing may also be made gluten-free by using gluten-free bread.
Wild Porcini Mushroom Stuffing
Serves 8 to 10
1 pound sourdough bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
3½ cups boiling water
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
8 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery with leaves, sliced
8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped off the stems
½ teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
10 fresh sage leaves, chopped
Freshly cracked pepper
2 eggs, beaten (optional)
3 tablespoons Italian parsley leaves, chopped
1. Evenly spread the bread cubes on two baking sheets, and toast them in a 350 F oven until they dry out and the edges begin to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, pour the boiling water over the dried porcini mushrooms. Set it aside.
3. In a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, thyme. Salt to the skillet and cook them until they turn soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
4. Use a strainer to fish the mushroom slices out of the soaking water. Let the water drip out of them for a few seconds before adding them to the skillet with the onion and celery. Continue to cook the vegetables and mushrooms for another 5 minutes. Stir in the sage, and add cracked pepper, plus more salt if necessary, to taste. Remove the skillet from the heat.
5. Gently pour the mushroom soaking water into the skillet full of vegetables and mushrooms, taking care to leave behind any dirt that has settled in the bottom. If you are using eggs, whisk them into the liquid.
6. Transfer the bread cubes to a large bowl. Pour the contents of the skillet over the bread cubes and toss until the bread cubes have absorbed all of the liquid. Stir in the parsley.
7. Transfer the mixture into a greased two-quart baking dish, and bake at 350 F for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the bread is heated through and the top looks crunchy and brown.
Top photo: Wild porcini mushroom stuffing for Thanksgiving. Credit: Wendy Petty
Unusual things start popping up in the quiet forests of the Rocky Mountains following the late-summer monsoon rains. First, all manner of berries, from strawberries to raspberries to huckleberries, make their presence known. Next, mushrooms emerge in an astonishing array of shapes and colors, followed closely by the appearance of equally colorful wild mushroom hunters. Known to be an eccentric bunch, people who hunt mushrooms are almost always characters.
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When I first learned to find mushrooms, people would remark to me that most of the mushroom hunters in Colorado were of Eastern European descent. I dismissed this as some sort of myth. Over the years of listening to other mushroom hunters in the woods, it turned out that I did, indeed, frequently hear accents that had a distinctive European lilt.
Most years, Colorado is dry, painfully dry, with an arid climate that skirts disaster. In the good years, the rain blesses the land in late summer. It is my hallelujah season, when I arise at 4 a.m. and make my way up the treacherous canyons in the dark, to arrive at a trailhead at daybreak, ready to chase mushrooms. Most days, I’m happy to wander the mushroom trail alone. I watch my fellow mushroom hunters. Some bounce up the trail with bulging sacks in hand, asking every person they cross if they’ve seen any mushrooms. Others quietly weave in and out of the edge of the forest, averting their eyes when they sense oncoming hikers.
Occasionally, I confront the trailwalkers whose eyes scan the ground. I play ignorant, and ask what they are doing. Most of the time, they are generous in letting me peer into their bag. I exclaim with genuine wonderment, “They’re so beautiful! Can you eat those?” One old-timer joked, “Every mushroom is edible … once!”
Wild mushroom hunters old-world charm and smarts
One day this last mushroom season, eating my snack while sitting cross-legged on a big rock, Mik Hrabovsky and his father, also Mik, both sporting newsboy hats, emerged from behind a stand of Engelmann spruce trees and raised their gnarled walking sticks in greeting. Feeling relaxed and friendly, I asked, “Did you find any mushrooms?” He lifted his basket, the same one that was lovingly carried over from Ukraine when his family immigrated to the United States, for me to see.
“Oh, yes! The forest has been a generous lady.” In the younger Hrabovsky, I heard that touch of Europe. I peered into his basket, which contained far more species than the singular porcini I was collecting.
Both Hrabovkys leaned in close to the rock where I sat, though the elder only twisted his mustache as he stared out at the distant peaks.
I inquired of Mik Jr., how he knew about mushrooms. He explained that the mushroom knowledge was passed down from the women in his family, his grandmother being the most knowledgeable, “She was our living encyclopedia, our wise woman. During the wars, knowing how to feed our family without outside help made her a kind of superhero.” Hrabovsky went on to explain that while his grandmother’s ability to find mushrooms seemed nearly magical, she always taught her grandchildren that mushroom hunting was a very practical way to celebrate the bounty that the forest can provide.
Now that the entire Hrabovsky clan is situated in America, the mushroom hunting tradition continues, with knowledge of mushrooms in the new land gathered from mushroom clubs and guidebooks. “I do it because it’s fun! The way some families watch their football team play every year, my family hunts mushrooms,” explained the younger Hrabovsky as he proudly held up a large Boletus edulis, also known as porcini. “I do it to connect to the old country and this land, too. There is something essential to who we are that we can only know by putting our fingers into the dirt where we live, and picking food from the land and taking it into ourselves.”
Curious about whether the newest generation of Hrabovsky children also enjoy finding mushrooms, I asked whether they ever join the hunt. “It’s hard to convince them to look away from their iPhones,” Mik Jr. said. “But once they get out here, they’re just kids, no different from kids in Ukraine, and they enjoy the treasure hunt.” Hrabovsky placed a hand on his father’s back, “I want them to know that our food is our history, and that they can reach back through time by cooking the same food as their grandparents and great-grandparents.”
Hrabovsky Family Mushroom-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
1 head of cabbage, leaves separated
4 tablespoons lard
2 pounds of edible wild mushrooms, finely chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon dill seeds, crushed
½ teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
½ teaspoon celery seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
1 quart crushed tomatoes and their juice
1. Blanch the leaves of cabbage in a large pot of boiling water for 1 minute each. Pat each dry, then stack the cabbage leaves so that they are ready to roll.
2. In a large sauté pan, melt the lard over medium heat. Once the melted lard has started to ripple in the pan, add the mushrooms, onions, caraway seeds, celery seeds and salt. Stir the contents of the pan continuously just until the water starts to emerge from the mushrooms.
3. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and onion, and continue to stir them while they cook for another minute. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.
4. Stuff each cabbage leaf with a few tablespoons of the mushroom mixture. Spoon the mushroom stuffing onto the stem-end of the cabbage leaf, then carefully roll it, folding in the sides of the cabbage leaf halfway, so that you end up with cylindrical-shaped packages of mushroom-stuffed cabbage.
5. Nestle the cabbage packages into a large Dutch oven. Pour the crushed tomatoes over the mushroom-cabbage rolls. If needed, add water so that the liquid in the pot comes within a half-inch of covering the rolls. Cover the pot.
6. Braise the mushroom-cabbage rolls in a 350 F oven for 2 hours. Serve over buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes.
Top photo: Colorado porcini mushroom. Credit: Wendy Petty
There aren’t many occasions in life today when the veil is lifted, when everything that is raw and real is on the forefront. It’s the reason we love weddings and sporting events, because they are often the best/only opportunity to witness human emotion laid bare. I had an opportunity to witness deep human emotion last week when I took the animal processing class hosted by the Laughing Coyote Project in Boulder, Colo. I signed up for the class hoping to improve my butchering skills. I walked away deeply moved at having watched a group of people do something brave and real.
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Nervous tension hung in the air as we gathered on that early summer morning, a mixed group of men and women, a handful of teenagers, and two young boys around 10 years old. As we chatted, two 6-month-old lambs, the ones we were to kill and process that weekend, quietly munched grass under the shade of a cottonwood.
As class began, we sat in a circle in the pen with the sheep. Our instructor, Myron Cretney, clad in buckskin shorts and shirt, led the discussion as to how the day would proceed. Barefooted and with his knife around his neck, Cretney explained that he wasn’t a butcher. Rather he’s a person with years of experience processing his own meat, particularly roadkill. Like most who signed up for the class, Cretney said he harvested his own meat out of desire to take full responsibility for his food.
With kind eyes shining out from above his long white beard, Cretney spent nearly two hours explaining how the class would capture, hold down and cut the throats of each of the sheep. He emphasized how to make the creatures feel most comfortable, saying that their greatest stress seemed to be in separation from the herd. To balance out the fear and sadness that was thick in the air, he instructed us to focus on appreciation and intent. We looked at the lambs, and thought about how thankful we’d be, not only for the meat they’d provide, but also the hides, bones and sinews, all of which would be used by members of the class. He told us that our actions during the slaughter must be deliberate and loving, like the firm hug you’d give a child during an inconsolable fit.
Animal processing with gratitude and respect
The moment finally arrived, and the two people who were to perform the knife plunge were self-selected. One was the mother to the youngest boy in attendance; the other, a 15-year-old. Each student knew his/her role so that the moment of the kill would proceed speedily and calmly. Some would capture the animals, others would hold down the flanks, another would hold down the head and place an ear across the animal’s eye to minimize its fear, one would cut through the jugulars and windpipe, and another would whisk the blood as it drained to prevent clotting.
Each of the people designated to cut the throats had trouble passing through the windpipe. However, no panic seeped into the situation. Cretney swiftly stepped in and helped finalize the cuts. It took several minutes for the blood to drain from the lambs, and their muscles occasionally twitched throughout that time. The students continued to hold them down firmly and with great love. A heavy silence reigned, and fat tears rolled down our cheeks.
Of the whole workshop, the single moment that stood out most in my mind was watching Alexis Neely hold down the shoulder of one of the lambs, quietly crying, but also watching her 11-year-old son, Noah, to make certain he was OK. Afterward, I asked Neely why she felt it was important to bring her young son to the class.
“Noah was born with a love of hunting, fishing and all sorts of primitive skills,” she said. “So while I was a Jewish American Princess from Miami with almost no connection to the outdoors and a deep desire not to harm any living thing, I found my inner nature goddess to support my son. And it turned out that I love it as well. So I look for any and all experiences I can share with Noah that get us in close communion with all aspects of natural living and find as I do that a ‘remembering’ happens for both of us. I experienced the animal processing weekend to support a great respect and appreciation for all life.”
Making use of every part of the animal
The class spent the remainder of the weekend learning to use every part of the animals. Cretney demonstrated techniques — whether stripping the hide from the flesh, or threading a wooden “needle” through the intestines to help turn them inside out for cleaning — on one animal, and let the students complete every part of the work with our own hands.
Despite the lighter mood, Cretney still emphasized respect. At one point, one of the young children threw mock punches at one of the hung animals. Our instructor reminded us that throughout the whole process, we were to recall the same thoughts of gratitude summoned just before slaughter.
(Editor’s note: Some of the photos in the gallery below are a stark depiction of the process.)
At the end of the class, all of the animals’ gifts were laid out on a table, and students took turns choosing which they desired to take home. I went home with some meat, a piece of hide to try my hand at leather tanning, and a lung and blood to make blood pudding.
The skills I learned at the animal processing class will serve me well when handling meat in the future. Ultimately, though, I will remember watching people at their best and the sense of community that the experience created. It usually takes me several meetings to connect names and faces. After the weekend-long animal processing class, I was able to bid farewell to each of my classmates by name.
Blood Pudding in a Lung
1 quart fresh sheep blood, run through a sieve to remove clots
1 teaspoon powdered garlic
1 teaspoon powdered onion
1 teaspoon ground wild oregano
1 sheep lung
cracker crumbs for breading (optional)
sage butter for frying (optional)
1. Whisk the garlic, onion and wild oregano into the blood.
2. Getting the blood into the lung is a two-person job. Have the first person hold the lung steady with a funnel inserted into the trachea. The second person pours the blood into the lung very slowly, until it seems to have reached capacity.
3. Tie off the trachea tightly using twine or a strong rubber band.
4. Using string, tie the blood-filled lung to the center of a stick or long-handled spoon, so that it will be secure when placed into the pot to boil.
5. Fill a pot large enough to contain the lung with water and bring it to a boil. When the water has reached a boil, reduce the heat so that the water is only simmering.
6. Carefully lower the blood-filled lung into the pot of water, allowing the stick to rest on the edges of the pot.
7. Allow the blood pudding to boil gently for 2 hours, turning occasionally.
8. Once it has been cooked and cooled completely, the blood pudding (as instructed by Cretney) can be sliced like bread. I went a step further and breaded my slices with cracker crumbs and quickly fried them in sage butter.
Top photo: A lamb stands nearby, before it is slaughtered as part of an animal processing class at Laughing Coyote Project in Boulder, Colo. Credit: Wendy Petty
Wild asparagus was one of the first wild foods I learned to pick as a kid, and it is probably the one I hold dearest to my heart. I’m so smitten with the wild variety that I refuse to eat store-bought asparagus, with rare exceptions like an elderly aunt’s Thanksgiving table.
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When I teach people to identify asparagus in the wild, I remind them that it is the very same species of asparagus, Asparagus officinalis, sold in stores (in the U.S.). Thus, wild asparagus looks remarkably similar to the spears sold in grocery markets and is readily recognized once one knows what to look for. It may vary in diameter, from very thin as a whip to thicker than my thumb. Sometimes wild asparagus twists and curls as it reaches for the light, and it occasionally looks wild and raggedy. But more often than not, it looks quite similar to asparagus found in the store, and it always tastes good.
It occurred to me this year that I should run a taste test between wild and store-bought asparagus, given that they are essentially the same thing. I used the participants in one of my wild foods cooking classes as the test subjects. I presented two batches of identically cooked asparagus (steamed and dressed in olive oil and salt). I informed them that one was wild and one was purchased from a supermarket, and in a blind test, asked them which they preferred.
The results shocked me. I had thought that there was no way wild asparagus could lose. However, the tasters preferred the store-bought asparagus by a 3 to 1 margin. Even the tasters were surprised by the results, many swearing they thought for certain they had correctly chosen the wild asparagus.
I have some theories as to why the commercial asparagus won. Most of the tasters agreed wild asparagus tasted sweeter. Perhaps they had pre-formed notions that wild asparagus might taste slightly more bitter. I think my biggest mistake was in informing my tasters that they would be choosing between wild and store-bought asparagus. I simply should have asked them which they preferred without informing them why I wanted to know.
Will the results of my informal poll alter my preference for wild asparagus? Not a chance. For me, wild asparagus is as much about ritual and celebration as it is about flavor. I will continue to boycott the asparagus that comes from the store, and look forward to next spring’s crop of wild asparagus.
Simple Grilled Asparagus
1 pound thick asparagus
1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon wild onion compound butter
1. Prepare the asparagus by using a vegetable peeler to peel the lower third of each stalk, and snapping off any ends that seem too woody.
2. Place the asparagus pieces on a sheet pan, drizzle them with the olive oil. Toss them around lightly until each spear is evenly coated with the oil. Next, season the asparagus with salt.
3. Grill the asparagus over moderately high heat, turning once, just until they start to blister and are tender when pierced with a knife. Do not overcook the asparagus, or it will become soggy and develop a bad flavor.
4. Once the asparagus is off the grill, finish it by letting the compound butter melt over the hot spears, then sprinkle them with the lemon zest.
Top photo: Grilled asparagus. Credit: Wendy Petty
As a kid, I’d follow close on my dad’s heels when he went to the local fishing hole, where he’d spend the day reeling in crappie and bluegill. We’d share peanut butter sandwiches and catch crawdaddies and garter snakes while waiting for the fish to bite. At some point in the day, we’d always hunt for wild asparagus, which also grew around the pond.
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My father will tell anyone who will listen that the asparagus doesn’t grow until the thunder shakes it from the ground. He has a full head of white hair now, and people sit in rapture of his wisdom. Me? I’m not so sure. I picked my first asparagus this year between snowstorms. It made its debut almost seven weeks later than last year.
That might sound frustrating, but it is actually part of the appeal. I only eat wild asparagus, which grows during a narrow window in the spring.
For me, store-bought asparagus will never do. I don’t ever want to see it on my plate at the end of summer, or at Thanksgiving. The fact that it only appears once a year, and in a way that is highly variable, only adds to its charm. When the asparagus finally arrives, it is a herald of the season, and it is marked with a feast. Part of the joy of foraging is only eating foods during the short window of time that they are in season. It makes for an endless series of celebrations.
The wild asparagus I forage, Asparagus officinalis, is the same that Euell Gibbons made famous in his book, “Stalking the Wild Asparagus.” It is also the same species as the one sold commercially. This means that once you know how to find it in the wild, it is readily recognized.
The surest way to find asparagus is to find the overgrown fern-like mature plants from the previous year. For the most part, it grows in the same place from year to year. Old, dried asparagus has a distinctive orange-yellow tone that stands out against the new green growth of spring. Wild asparagus seems to really love fence lines, railroads and drainage ditches, but don’t be surprised to see it growing in the middle of a field.
Some people will try to tell you that only thin asparagus is good. Don’t believe them. Thick or thin, wild asparagus tastes the same. I prefer the thicker ones simply because they provide a more substantial bite of asparagus goodness. The most important factor in picking wild asparagus is to choose stalks that still have tightly closed heads, no matter how tall or thick they should grow.
Wild Asparagus Bites
I prefer to serve these gluten-free nibbles at room temperature, but they are equally delicious eaten hot or cold.
12 spears wild asparagus
1 shallot, sliced into half moons
½ cup ricotta cheese
2 ounces goat cheese chevre
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
Black pepper, to taste
1. Heat oven to 425 F.
2. Clean the wild asparagus and prepare them by snapping off the tough ends.
3. Toss the asparagus and shallots with olive oil, salt and pepper, making certain the asparagus and shallots are coated with oil.
4. Place the vegetables on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, or until the thickest asparagus spear can easily be pierced with a knife. After removing the asparagus and shallots, reduce the oven temperature to 300 F.
5 While the asparagus is roasting, prepare the cheesy base. Mix together the ricotta, goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, cornstarch, salt and pepper until they are evenly combined.
6. Carefully cut off the tips of the roasted asparagus and set them aside.
7. Chop the remaining asparagus and shallots. You can do this roughly with a knife. Just make certain the pieces end up at least a quarter-inch thick or smaller.
8. Stir the chopped asparagus and shallots into the egg and cheese mixture.
9. Fill 12 greased mini muffin cups three-quarters full with the asparagus mixture. Place an asparagus tip atop each filled cup.
10. Bake the wild asparagus bites at 300 F for 20 minutes.
Wild asparagus bites. Credit: Wendy Petty
Along with the return of robins and whirling bees, I count the appearance of dandelions among the first signs that spring has officially arrived. I look forward to seeing their cheery butter-yellow flowers, and admire their tenacity as plants. It takes a survivor’s spirit and dogged determination to thrive in the manner of dandelions, growing everywhere from lush fields to the worst of disturbed ground, even in cracks of sidewalks. As much as I admire dandelions’ perseverance, I also particularly enjoy them as a food. Their edgy bitter green flavor is a welcome addition to mealtime after a long winter filled with dreary grey skies and heavy slow-cooked dishes.
Every part of the dandelion plant is edible. Perhaps you’ve enjoyed a salad of bitter greens served with bacon and a splash of vinegar, or savored a cup of dandelion root coffee. You may even have delighted in dandelion flower fritters or sipped dandelion wine. But have you eaten every part of the dandelion?
Where to look for the best dandelions
I learned from edible wild plants expert Samuel Thayer how to eat two of the less commonly eaten parts of dandelions, the flower stalks and crowns. After a few years experience eating them, I’d say that dandelion crowns are among my favorite spring foods.
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To find the best dandelion flower stalks to use as food, seek out large plants in shady areas. These grow in tall grass, which forces the stalk to grow quite long in order for the flower to not be obscured by grass. Longer stalks mean more food with less picking. Seek out the youngest, most pale green flower stalks, as they will be most tender.
Remove the flower heads from the stalks (and be certain to eat them or make dandelion wine). Boil whole flower stalks in boiling water for 10 minutes, as recommended by Thayer, then drain them. Serve dandelion stalk “noodles” dressed with a little butter and salt, or incorporate them into your favorite dishes as a vegetable.
Harvesting dandelion crowns takes a bit more technique. The crown of the dandelion is the tight knot where the leaves meet the tap root. Even in a large plant, it may not be more than a single bite, but it is a very satisfying one. Seek out young spring dandelion plants that have not yet flowered. Look for plants with a tight nest of new buds at their core.
If you are harvesting an entire dandelion plant, either because you intend to eat it, or because you are, gasp, weeding it, the first step is to wash the plant free of as much dirt as possible. Cut off the root, and peel away the outer leaves, and you will be left with the little nugget that is the crown. Rinse it again as thoroughly as possible under running water because it is likely to be very dirty.
Thayer, however, has come up with a clever method of harvesting dandelion crowns without all of the dirt. He uses a sturdy teaspoon with sharpened edges to selectively harvest crowns from the plants. I’ve found that a grapefruit spoon with serrated edges or a pocketknife also work well. Again, seek out large dandelion plants that have yet to flower. Use your spoon or knife to carve a cone-shaped piece of crown right out of the plant, which is still in the ground. Harvested in this manner, the plants require little additional rinsing to remove any remaining grit and dirt. Even if you intend to later remove the entire plant, if you find that you particularly enjoy dandelion crowns, harvesting them in this manner saves time.
Dandelion crowns have a touch of the same bitterness as dandelion leaves and feel like a solid bite of vegetable in the mouth. Use dandelion crowns as you would asparagus, adding them to any soup, salad, or stir-fry. They can be eaten raw, but I prefer to serve them cooked.
My favorite way to serve “yard artichokes” is similar to how I’d serve real artichokes. Steam prepared dandelion crowns until they can easily be pierced with a knife, usually around 10 minutes. While they are steaming, prepare small ramekins full of melted butter kissed with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt. Dip the steamed dandelion crowns into the butter bath before enjoying the tender morsels like the toast of spring that they are.
Top photo: Dandelions. Credit: Erica Marciniec