Would-be foragers out there should know about this exciting new book, Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer’s Market, by Tama Matsuoka Wong, the forager for Daniel Boulud’s Daniel, and Eddy Leroux, the restaurant’s chef de cuisine. We asked Tama about some of the top foraged ingredients available at this time of year and how best to prepare them. Look for her five picks (below) in your backyard, especially in vegetable or garden beds, or ask for them at your local farmers’ market.
When plucked from the wild, the texture and flavor of this plant’s leaves are nothing like that of the packaged shiso you’ve seen at the grocery store. Try it in Shiso Tenderloin Beef Skewers.
This popular and beautiful green has a mild lemony flavor and is one of the highest sources of omega-3. Purslane is a classic addition to a Provençal-style salad. You can also find a recipe for Purslane Eggplant Caponata in Foraged Flavor.
When cooked, this wild green has a deliciously nutty flavor. Simply sautée and serve as an accompaniment to salmon or scallops, in casseroles, or in the Curried Lamb and Lamb’s-Quarters Meatballs in Foraged Flavor.
This flowering plant in the daisy family has a wonderful, mild, pea-like flavor and is one of the staple ingredients in the national dish of Colombia. Try it in Tama and Eddy’s Galinsoga and Ground Beef Polenta Pie.
The flavor of this fernlike green is amazingly similar to pineapple with notes of chamomile. Great for infusions or as a garnish to add an herbal kick to pineapple dishes.
Sustainability alert! In Foraged Flavor, Tama has assigned each wild ingredient in the book a color code: green, yellow, or red. Those coded green can be harvested sustainably.