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

Friday, June 21, 2013


How did I come to be eating an appetizer of wild nettle sformato with quail egg and morels last Saturday? I blame it all on the influence of Other Ellen, Zachos that is. She's been harassing me about foraging for almost as long as I've known her.
Granted when Ben and I were looking for the perfect restaurant to celebrate a BIG anniversary, we headed right to the Union Square Cafe. And granted that the chef there is known to walk the half block from the Cafe to the famous Union Square Greenmarket for special local products to feature on his menu, printed daily.
A walk through the Greenmarket made us anticipate our special lunch even more.
I blame EZ for my menu choice because having dug and composted hundreds of bushels of nettles and purslane on my flower & herb farm, I would normally want to have nothing more with these horrible weeds. But I trust USC completely and maybe I even trust EZ a little*.
Using the chopped leaves of the nettle, the sformato is like a custard with the full rich flavor of a spinachy green; in combination with the morels and quail egg it's perfect.

* She's written a fascinating new book Backyard Foraging, Storey Pub. 2013, that the New York Times reviewer called "extremely appealing", though no nettles appear in it.


BFF Nana said...

Happy Anniversary. Now you have me wanting to search my town's farmers market for nettles. Then I can have my "very local" chef incorporate them into some fantastic dish.

Ellen Zachos said...

You are making me hungry! Are you a convert now?

Ellen Spector Platt said...

I am. Just wish I had known enough to truck my crop of PA weeds to New York and make my fortune. Too soon old, too late smart, as they used to say in my town.

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