Thursday, April 26, 2012

Free Dinner!

OK, I exaggerate. It’s the last time, I promise. But today I did score some comestibles free of charge by doing a little foraging while hiking on some beautiful public land. I wish I knew more of the edibles out there, but for the time being we were focused on one seasonal treat I frankly don’t even like all that much.



That ugly fungus is a morel, a member of the genus Morchella but I couldn’t tell you which species.  If you live where they grow, I don’t need to tell you some people are positively crazy for them. The appear for a brief period in the spring and lure hundred, probably thousands of Midwesterners to the woods. I found a few while hiking with friends today so they’re going to work their way into dinner somehow. Right now the dish in the lead combines them with shallots and brown rice. That will make a nice accompaniment to the main course which features the leaves you see to the left of the morel.


Garlic mustard, is an invasive exotic weed that, unfortunately, carpets much too much of the woodlands of this region. Its only, meager saving grace is that it’s edible. So, in the event I could find some inspiration for how to use it this evening I pulled a bundle and brought it home.  Here’s what I came up with:


First, we’ll enjoy some hummus that is made with garlic mustard instead of garlic. I was hoping it would be more green.



Then I’m going to broil some lambchops and slather them with a garlic mustard pesto.


I must say, there’s something uniquely satisfying about stuffing an invasive, exotic weed in the food processor and gleefully mashing the power button.

5 Responses:

Anita said...

Foraging is on my list of things to learn more about. A free dinner is always great! Does the garlic mustard taste like garlic?

Shady Character said...

To be honest, it smelled more garlicky while I was picking it than it tasted in the end. It had more of a generic, green vegetal(?) flavor so for the hummus I boosted it with a clove of real garlic. I'm wondering if first year vs. second year leaves taste differently; it's a biennial.

Mil said...

You found morels?? I love morel foraging. That reminds me that I have to bug some of my friends to take me morel hunting.

Shady Character said...

When you get some post pictures. I'm curious to see what California morels look like.

Mil said...

They look like the ones you have, but if I find them in burn areas, they might have a tinge of black. But I will happily take pics of morels for you.