Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Swindler Cove, part two

Let me be clear: I'm not suggesting you go harvest all the edible plants from Swindler Cove! Not only would that be against the law, it would make the park less enjoyable for the rest of the world. But when OE and I were there last week, I couldn't help but notice how many of the landscape plants also had edible parts.

I'm working on a new book about ornamental plants (and common weeds) with edible parts, and thought I'd show you what a quick walk through a small park has to offer. Perhaps you can find these same plants in your own back yard.

The garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is nearing the end of its delicious stage. When the weather gets warm, its leaves will be tough and bitter. But right now...mmm...garlicky.

Ostrich fern (Matteucia struthiopteris) is just slightly past its prime, but a few weeks ago, when it looked like this:

those fiddleheads were crunchy and sweet.

Yes, that's right, Sedum. Raw leaves are succulent and fresh out of hand and in salads. Has anyone tried cooking them?

I didn't really eat the buds off the trees...but I could have!

(thanks to ESP for the above photo)

Sprinkle a few on salads, eggs, or as a general garnish. They have a mild, fresh, pea-like taste.

That's just a first, quick walk of what's out there, ready to grace your dinner plate. Periodic updates, including hostas, lilacs, and juneberries, will be forthcoming.


Ellen Zachos said...

From Betsy in MA:

I can hardly wait for that book! Ellen, you are really the Other Euell.
We eat the flowers of garlic mustard in salads and sandwiches.
I also quick-cook rinsed older leaves and serve them under chicken, bluefish or pork, then pull out the plants.

Sara said...

Mmmm, the tastes of spring! Heading out the door now with snippers in hand...

I'm hopeful for a great juneberry year (blueberries, too - I have great flowers on all but one of the - blush - 5 varieties I'm growing).

Sweetgum Thursday said...

Ellen, You probably won't remember this, but I was a latecomer (something of a crasher) to the GWA meetup at the Planto'rama at BBG this year and you answered a few questions I had for the group. I remember very well at that meeting you said you hadn't published a book about foraging, although you blogged about it and I responded "Not yet". How very cool that this is happening! Congratulations. I hope you enjoy your time working on it.

YourGardenShow said...

Your book will be a valuable contribution to the popular food culture in the U.S. We live in Umbria where foraging is the most important part of the regional kitchen (there is very little human density so it is a different set-up than NYC!). We had our colleague do a short video on why "weeds" are so valuable - for food and so many other things, like pollination: http://www.yourgardenshow.com/users/YGS_Bee/ygs-busy-bee/slideshow/29454?referrer=photo-1

The day that we appreciate the biodiversity of our open- and common lands will be evolutionary!

Best for success of the book.


Ellen Zachos said...

Hello Sweetgum, in fact I'm pretty sure I DO remember you from Plantorama. Thanks for your good wishes.

Marie said...

Have you eaten the pea pods off the redbuds?

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