link to Home Page

Many Others

Puffballs are great pan-fried, as are fiddlehead ferns. Burdock roots are good, kind of like potatoes. They are harvested out of the wet marshlands. There are also wild onions.

Offered by Kristy.

From the book, Honey from a Weed

In March, or sooner in limestone districts, the succulent shoots of fennel are sought out at the base of the plant and cut off with their little plume of fronds emerging from a sheath. Boiled till tender and eaten with olive oil and lemon juice. Or boiled for a few minutes, dried, tossed in fine flour and fried in hot oil. Much used in preparing fish soups. ...

Cousin of the grape hyacinth, tassel hyacinth has a 'mad' flower with purple 'tassel' and a delicious edible bulb; it grows wild on limestone, but is so much appreciated in early spring that it is also cultivated. The wild bulbs are smaller and more excellent. They are dug out of the earth when three straggly leaves first appear. Recipe. Wash the bulbs, then boil them. When tender, say after 20 minutes, drain and remove the rough outer skins while warm. The peeled object slightly resembles a very small peeled onion, only it is tinged with faintest green and purple. Cut them in half (or not), sprinkle with salt, pour over them a little olive oil and wine vinegar. Serve cold as an antipasto; they are delicious. The corms of Crocus cancellatus on Naxos were prepared in the same way, dug up in autumn. ...

Purslane is a little succulent from Asia which reached the Mediterranean in antiquity. It appears spontaneously in late summer in cultivated ground in Greece, southern Italy and Spain, often close to the Indian fig or prickly pear, which came from central America. Fleshy-leaved, emerald green, purslane makes an excellent addition to a tomato salad, when picked before its small yellow flowers appear. It was grown as a pot-herb in England in Victorian times, a kitchen garden annual, but was already mentioned by Gerard in 1597, as was the then 'fabulous' Indian fig, which he showed, drawn from hearsay, as an arboreal cathedral!