Recipe: Cattail Fritters

Cattails have been called the supermarket of the wild by experienced foragers, due to their multitude of uses throughout the succession of the seasons. But  we have found perhaps an even greater abundance in variety of dshes we’ve enjoyed frm this delicious plant.

For our newest recipe, the ingredients yo’ll need are:

1 cup stripped cattail flowers (12-24 male flower stalks)

1 cup mozzarella

1 egg

salt, pepper and oregano to taste

 

In a large pot, boil the fresh male cattail flower stalks. If necessary (and it probably will be) chop the flower stalks in half in order to fit them into the pot. Cover them with water and boil until the flowers can easily be stripped from the stalk; about 15 – 20 minutes. Next, strain the water from the pot and remove the flower stalks and begin stripping the yellow flower fluff off. This can be easily accomplished by holding the flower stalk flat on the counter with one hand, and with the other  use a fork to pull the yellow fluff off.

Combine the fluff in a bowl with the mozzarella, oregano and egg and whisk together. Place a skillet or frying pan on medium heat on your stove and add the cattail mixture to the pan much as you would with pancake batter. Flip each fritter once and continue frying more until your mixture is depleted or you’re full!

Enjoy!

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Recipe: Curly Dock Soup

In honor of the passing of the early Spring season, I’ve decided to post this recipe for curly dock soup. A delicious and simple recipe, it makes use of the most prolific, perhaps, of all the Spring greens and the result is a soup which is both light and filling.

The ingredients you will need for this are:

2 tbsp. butter

1 cup wild onions (bulbs or buds)

1/2 cup young wild lettuce stalk (or celery)

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

2 1/2 cups chopped curly dock leaves

thyme, black pepper, salt to taste

 

Mix the butter, onions, lettuce (or celery), salt and pepper in a large pot or dutch oven on a stove at medium heat until the vegetables start to sweat. Once they are glistening, add the stock and bring to a boil. Next, reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Finally, add the cream, chopped dock leaves, and thyme. Allow the soup to continue to heat until the dock leaves are wilted, then remove from heat, allow to cool, and serve.

Aside from its simplicity and tastefulness, this recipe is a wonderful way to make use of curly dock leaves even after they have grown large and over-matured. As such, this soup is able to embody the full flavor of Spring long after most of the tender greens have given way to the early seeds and fruit of Summer.

A good pairing for this dish are cattail fritters, or more poignantly, flatbread made from the ripe curly dock seed, and sweetened pine needle tea early in the Spring or lemon beebalm infused tea later towards Summer.

I personally love dishes like this, because they can embody the fleeting nature of a given time or season; and after they’re gone, the memory of which gives us something to look forward to and allows and feeling of continuity and certainty….

Because Spring will always come again

Happy harvesting!