Saturday, May 4, 2013

Foraging

Today I had my first great adventure in foraging...for dandelion greens...in my driveway.  It started as a grand plan.  I read about some woman in New York City who's gotten permission from all sorts of public parks to forage for invasive weeds, and who started a program at her daughter's school taking city kids to city parks to find green stuff that needs to be pulled up to serve kids who need to eat more greens.  It's like the epitome of how diminishing the radius of the food cycle is best for everyone.  So I made fantasy plans to contact the Massachussets Native Plant society (if there is such a thing) and find out about invasive species, and then to research which ones are edible, and then to get permission from the MDC, and then to stuff my running clothes with plastic bags and do interval training with squats to dig and lunges to pick.  And then I did some weeding, came inside, saw a recipe for dandelion greens, and ran back out and dumped my yard waste bag all over the driveway so I could rescue the precious leaves.  Then I washed them like ten times, and started to saute.  About halfway through, I tasted some.  Bitter.  Really bitter.  Like lettuce, dandelion greens get bitter when the plant flowers.  And I had quite indiscriminately pulled up budding and flowering plants from the driveway and garden paths.  So I quickly gabbed a zucchini, grated it, and dropped it into the pan.  The sweet of the zucchini both mellowed out and made into a delightful bite the bitter of the dandelion.  Tomorrow, I might go all the way to the bottom of the neighbor's driveway!


Bitter Dandelion Greens with Sweet Zucchini
serves 2

about 4 cups dandelion greens
1 zucchini
1 clove garlic
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Wash the dandelion greens well and chop roughly into thirds.  Grate the zucchini.  Heat the olive oil in the pan.  Smash the garlic clove with the flat side of a knife, pull of the skin, and toss into the olive oil.  Toss in the dandelion greens and salt and pepper and saute over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add in the grated zucchini and saute for 2-3 minutes longer.  Serve immediately.