Friday, May 21, 2010

Mint, Sheep Sorrel, and Jewelweed

Tonight's menu:

Appetizer--sheep sorrel salad

Main course--Bean and cheese wraps filled with boiled jewel weed greens

Dessert--Strawberries with mint infused birch syrup

The lowdown:

Sheep sorrel is a lemony flavored green which can be eaten throughout its growing season. It is sour and delicious. Our salad was half garden salad greens and half sheep sorrel greens. We have eaten wood sorrel on many occasions and the two plants contain the same chemical (oxalic acid) that gives them their characteristic sour lemony flavor.

Jewelweed greens are as slippery to eat as they feel when you gather them. I (Thag) like the texture. Ooga was not as fond, though we both agreed that they are a solid 3 on our rating scale. The field guides direct us to pick shoots that are shorter than six inches and boil in two changes of water (for 15 minutes total). Ooga efficiently has the next bath boiling in the kettle when the first one is drained away. I remember eating this green in high school as one of my first wild edible experiments. Some hard earned wisdom: Cut the stems in the field rather than uprooting and cutting off the roots later. It makes the plants much easier to process and to clean.

The wild mint was gathered with Arena last weekend, we used it to flavor our birch syrup from this spring. The flavors were delightful over strawberries, and the mint was the perfect compliment to the sweet and slightly astringent birch. All we did to infuse was to boil the mint in the syrup with just enough water to keep the syrup from turning to sugar.

No comments:

Post a Comment