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Fresh  Forages

Mustard Green Pesto

Garlic Mustard Pesto

4 c. garlic mustard

3/4 c. fresh olive oil

1/3 c. chopped, toasted nuts (e.g. pine)

1 Tbsp fresh basil

salt to taste

Garlic mustard is high in vitamins which gives it a pretty bitter flavor. The best way to counter-act this bitterness is with salt. You can boil the greens ahead of time in salt water to reduce the bitterness (although we do not).

Simple! Combine all ingredients in a food-processor and pulse to your preferred consistency. 

Apply to bland dishes such as lean meats, toast, or eggs for a kick of flavor.

Pan-Seared Morels

Morel mushrooms (unrinsed)

Enough water to float mushrooms

Pinch of salt

1 tsp butter 

If you've been lucky enough to find these elusive mushrooms, you'll be happy to know that cooking them is much easier!

Put mushrooms in water with a pinch of salt and allow to sit for 24 hours. This will not make the mushrooms soggy, but will hydrate older mushrooms.

Remove hydrated mushrooms from the refrigerator. Reserve water. Add butter to a medium-heat pan. Sauté morels for 1-2 minutes on each side until a slight crust forms. Very lightly sprinkle with salt.

Take reserved spore-water to lawn and apply to alkaline Southern-facing soil near ash or elm trees. Who knows, you might get lucky!

Sautéed Ostrich Ferns

1 c. young, sprouts of ostrich ferns

1Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp chopped garlic

2 tsp salt, divided

Rise freshly gathered fern sprouts and add to a pot of boiling water with 1 tsp salt. This will help to curb the bitterness of the ferns. Blanch for 30 seconds.

Remove sprouts and add to a heated skillet with butter. Sear each side for 30-60 seconds. Add garlic to the pan on the second sear, sprinkle with the last tsp of salt, and serve. 

Stinging Nettle Tagliatelle

1/2 c blanched, pressed stinging nettle

2 eggs

2/3 c flour

pinch of salt

Stinging nettle stings! Wear gloves and pull the top of the stem holding 4 leaves. You will need quite a bit!

Continue to wear gloves and add leaves to a boiling pot of water with a pinch of salt. Blanche for 30 seconds and remove. Under cold water, press the nettle through a flour sack, simultaneously cooling and wringing the greens. Remove the wrung greens and chop finely.

Add nettle, flour, eggs and mix. Work dough for approximately 10 minutes. Rest for 30 minutes. 

Roll dough into a "snake" and then press out into a thin, long rectangle. Cut the dough into tagliatelle noodles and boil in water.

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