When it comes to foraged foods, the only thing better than finding them is cooking them up and serving them to an appreciative audience. While you can do this by finding recipes specifically for your foraged ingredients, isn’t it more fun to be creative? Of course, this can be a challenge when using less-common ingredients.
One of the simplest ways to start is by substituting your foraged goods for ingredients with similar flavor profiles. If you have a signature radicchio salad, for example, that’s a great place to substitute dandelion greens (which are similarly bitter). If you’re famous for your lemon meringue pies, try a variation using foraged pomelos or grapefruits instead of lemons. For Thanksgiving dinner, swap out the cranberry sauce for your own homemade rowan berry sauce, which has a similarly tart edge.
Once you’re more comfortable with the flavor profiles of your foraged ingredients, you can start crafting your menus around them. This is where things get really fun, as you’re truly allowing your fresh, vibrant ingredients to shine. For example, if you’ve found an abundance of fragrant, perfect peaches, make grilled pork with a bourbon peach chutney and a side of foraged greens, followed by peach crumble a la mode.
If you’re lucky enough to have found a plethora of asparagus (if you live in Utah, for example), here’s an example of a menu you could create: chilled cream of asparagus soup with a swirl of crème fraîche, topped with tarragon and edible flowers, followed by lemon-pepper salmon with a side of roasted asparagus.
In other words, have fun and play with your ingredients! Let them shine as the star of the show, as their fresh, vibrant flavor often can’t be beat.