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stir fried noodles with weeds and seeds

 

One several possible variations of this recipe are staples of my diet, and this is an excellent way to get your daily dose of wild foods.  Even significantly simplified versions of this recipe are great, and please feel encouraged to substitute the ingredients as taste and practicality indicate.

 

Here's what you'll need...

  • One half to one third package of Eden brand Extra Fine Pasta, Pesto Ribbons, or any other variety that floats your boat.  Egg Noodles of any kind, really, will work.

  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots (wild carrots will work fine, but I do miss the nice orange color in the finished dish...)

  • a Burdock root... these can vary widely in size... you want about an equal to slightly smaller quantity in proportion to the carrots.

  • 1-3 Jerusalem Artichokes (or "sunchokes")

  • 1 Shallot clove (or section, or segment or whatever you call it...)

  • 1-2 Garlic cloves

  • Garlic powder

  • Parsley

  • Fresh Basil

  • Fresh Dandelion greens

  • Fresh Ox Eye Daisy leaves and/or flowers

  • Fresh Lamb's Quarters

  • (please remember you can substitute whatever other fresh edible greens you have available)

  • Ground Flax seed

  • Sesame Seed

  • Some Balsamic Vinegar

  • Butter or Oil (butter really does taste better)

  • Parmesan cheese (personally, I prefer shredded to grated)

  • A skillet (or wok) & a stove (or fire)

Start by cutting your Carrots, Burdock, Jerusalem Artichokes into slivers, slices, discs, matchsticks, or whatever shapes turn you on.  Then mince up the garlic and shallots and set aside.

 

Gather your Basil & wild greens and cut them up.  You may have noticed I didn't specify quantities; this is because I never measure.  Saying "Liberal Quantities" would be my guide to you.  I'm well aware that Dandelions are kind of bitter, and know how to eyeball them to my taste.  If you still have trepidations about adding too much bitterness, taste your Dandelions, and add them in smaller bunches as you make the dish.  I do use them right through fall myself, and never recommend the old, "Boil them and throw out the water" method... that'd really kill em.   When all cut up, set the greens aside (if you've gathered fresh Stinging Nettle, keep this seperate).

 

Boil your noodles, and be sure not to overcook (they'll stick together and won't stir fry as well).  When done, rinse and set aside.

 

Heat your skillet or wok, then add a couple tablespoons of oil or 3 or 4 tablespoons of butter.  When melted, throw in your root vegetables and stir fry them around till they get a bit tender.  If you gathered fresh Nettles, add them now.

 

After your roots seem to be getting tender, and perhaps your Nettles are starting to looked cooked enough not to sting you, add the noodles.   Stir around to mix the roots and noodles, and keep stirring as needed to avoid burning the bottom of the noodles to the pan.  Add garlic powder to taste (I usually do 2 or 3 good dustings).  If your using dried Parsley, add it now as well (to taste).  GENTLY sprinkle some balsamic vinegar over the noodles, but don't overdo it... you can always add more, but you can't undo a big "glug".

 

Keep stirring, and taste the noodles every so often.  Some people like to cook them long enough till they dry out a bit, some people like them wetter... it's up to you.  When they taste good, add the liberal helping of fresh greens, and liberal quantities of ground flax and sesame seeds.  Stir around till well mixed, but don't let the greens wilt to much in the heat.

 

Scoop out onto plates or into bowls and garnish with more seeds and liberal helpings of parmesan cheese, and devour at will.

 

This dish becomes absolutely divine if prepared with fresh Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa) mushrooms.  You can also add shiitakes or portabellas or morels  or whatever fungus you like best... just add them after the roots and before the noodles.  This is also an excellent accompaniment  to venison, marinated in Worchester sauce and red wine, with maybe a bit of this sauce thrown in along with the vinegar. 

 

For a drink to enhance your meal, red or white wine will both work, depending on what your serving it with, but I really enjoy it best with a good hard cider.  Woodchuck is pretty good, but sweet.  Strongbow or Blackthorn are very tasty imported dry ciders, and worth having, if you can find 'em...

 

Enjoy!

 

jim mcdonald

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