Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Vaccinium arboreum

I spent my last Saturday teaching some boy scouts about the wild edibles in the Piney Woods. We found several species to discuss including one of my favorite wild edibles, farkleberries. These wild blueberries also known as sparkleberries are native to the Southeastern United States and stretch into our area, just east of Austin. The berries are usually small, but can be found in abundance growing in the understory or on the edge of the forest. The trees or large shrubs are small, deciduous and multi-trunking with spindly limbs. The leaves turn a brilliant red, burgundy and deep purple in the fall. The berries are usually not as plump and juicy as cultivated blueberries, but are just as sweet and nutritious!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wild Greens

Clockwise from bottom left: Dandelion, Mallow, Spiderwort, Wood sorrel 

I've noticed several wild greens sprouting after the little bit of rain we got here in Central Texas. Since we have such mild winters here in the South, we can find plenty of greens to eat throughout the season. Greens are so important in our diet and 'grazing on greens' as we go about our business is quite popular these days. When you're out on a walk, picking through your garden or simply relaxing in your yard, keep an eye out for these tasty, nutritious treats:

Dandelion greens (Taraxacum officinale): Though often bitter, the greens help with digestion and cleanse the body. Eat them raw or cooked.

Mallow (Malva neglecta): This less popular, though wonderfully tasty green are a fabulous base for a salad since they are sturdy, slightly crunchy and mild-tasting.

Spiderwort, Flowering

Spiderwort ( Tradescantia spp.): Most people would recognize spiderwort by its flowers, but the young leaves are actually edible and deliciously mild and crunchy.

Wood sorrel or oxalis (Oxalis spp.): Wood sorrel is one of the most ubiquitous and popular wild greens. Its heart-shaped leaflets give it away and its distinct lemony, tart flavor is a treat as a garnish or mixed into a salad.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Preparing the Prickly Pear Tunas

We had a wonderful Saturday preparing a wild food dinner for our friends out at our place. I pulled several bags of agaritas, Texas persimmons and elderberries out of the freezer to create a lovely menu for a perfect fall evening. Check out the upcoming Edible Austin COOKS for a rundown on the menu and the event.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Texas Persimmons + Tunas

I harvested Texas persimmons and prickly pear fruits this past weekend in Hondo, Texas. Looks like it's time for a (prickly pear) margarita party. My Mexican limes are just about ripe and ready on my tree as well - perfect timing! I'll probably just pulp the persimmons in my hand-cranked food mill and use the pulp as a spread on toast, biscuits and crackers.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

More Elderberries

* Here's part of the elderberry entry I am working on for my book. I decided to make elderberry ketchup instead of jelly with the berries we recently found on the San Marcos River -- see recipe below.

Elderberry, Sambucus canadensis
Sprinkle the flower petals over any dish or extract the berry juices and make anything from jelly to wine.

If there was an elder among all the wild berries, this one earns the distinction. References to elderberry appear numerous times in early cookbooks and medicinal texts, highlighting its ability to nourish and heal. Today, the elderberry is still respected as a powerful medicine, used in defense of everything from a minor cough to the flu, and an essential ingredient in some of the best country wines. 

Elderberry plants re-sprout from perennial roots each spring and can grow at least 5 or 6 feet tall. Their white flowers are called umbels and blossom at the top of long, woody stalks. The tiny white flowers eventually become small, purplish-black ripe berries whose heaviness often causes the umbels to droop over. Elderberries are most common in the Central and Eastern part of the state though they can be found growing in areas that are moist and fertile anywhere, such as ditches and riparian zones or in wetlands.

The twigs, stems and leaves of the elderberry are toxic, but the incredibly fragrant blossoms (available in mid-spring) can be eaten fresh by gently brushing the tiny, white petals into a container for your salads. They are also the main ingredient in elderflower cordial and elderflower wine. Beware: Elderberry blossoms are similar in appearance to poison hemlock flowers – always be sure you know what you are harvesting!

If you do decide to harvest the flowers in the spring, be sure to leave the umbrella-like flowering head attached so the plant can proceed with the production of the much-coveted berries (there are species that produce blue or black fruits though the black-fruited Sambucus Canadensis is most common in Texas.) Picking individual berries one by one is time consuming – it’s easier to snip off the berry bunches all at once and de-stem them later. When the berries are at peak ripeness, they will easily detach from their stems though freezing the clusters first, then rubbing the frozen solid berries off the stems works really well. Eating raw elderberries has been known to cause some belly aches and they’re not very tasty anyway. It’s best to release their flavor by pouring hot water over them first and extracting their juices for use in jellies, pies, sauces, dressings, wines and other fruit-based dishes. To extract their juices, heat water to just before boiling (around 190º is good) and barely cover the berries in a bowl or pan. Let them steep for at least 15 minutes then mash them and strain the juice through several layers of cheesecloth or a jelly bag.

Elderberry blossoms should be processed or eaten right away. The fruits can be frozen for up to a year and then cooked to make juice though it might be easier and less space-intensive to juice them right after harvest and freeze the juice. Berries will only keep 2 to 3 days fresh in the refrigerator. They can be frozen for up to a year. 

Elderberry Ketchup
The idea of harvesting and using wild elderberries in cooking has deep, historical roots. In her 1888 book titled Family Living on $500 a year: A Daily Reference Book for Young and Inexperienced Housewives, Juliet Corson makes the thrifty suggestion to use elderberries and spices to make ketchup. This recipe is designed to make a small batch of elderberry ketchup but once you’ve discovered the perfect blend of sugar and spice to suit your tastes, you can make larger batches for canning. Jars of elderberry ketchup make unique gifts for the holidays.

4 c elderberries
1 small onion, chopped
½ c distilled white vinegar
½ c sugar
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. salt

Wash the elderberries and remove the stems. Heat onion and vinegar in a saucepan until boiling, then simmer for 15-25 minutes or until the onions are tender. Remove from heat and add the berries. Let the mixture steep for 15 minutes. Mash the berry mixture gently with a potato masher. Press through a sieve. (note: A cone ricer or cone sieve works really well when attempting to extract fruit pulp.) Put fruit pulp back into a clean saucepan and add sugar and other spices. Simmer until it thickens, stirring constantly so that it doesn’t stick to the pot. Serve fresh or fill sterilized jars, place caps on the jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Elderberries (Sambucus canadensis) in a pan ready to go into the freezer

We went on a swim in the San Marcos River a few days ago and found some loaded elderberry bushes. I harvested what I could and hope to get back to the site soon to take some good pictures. The little berries can be difficult to separate from the stems so I freeze them first, stems and all, and then rub my hands over the frozen berries - they will easily fall off the stems. (If there are still some tiny stems attached after doing this, shuffle the berries from hand to hand and the stems will stick to your palms when the berries fall out of them.) I then freeze the berries in a freezer bag or use immediately to make sauces, jellies and medicine. The berries shouldn't be eaten raw in large quantities, but are fabulous cooked into juice and then made into a variety of tasty treats. I'll post my recipe for elderberry jelly once I finish de-stemming the berries!

Friday, July 20, 2012


Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)

Here in Central Texas most wild edible harvests have been early this year due to drought and a warm winter so now is a good time to begin your mesquite bean collection. If you can get them just before they fall from the tree, you might be able to avoid the pods that are damaged by insects. Of course, the pods with a bit of insect holes (that are usually made by an exiting bruchid beetle) are fine. For the best rundown on how to harvest and process the beans, check out the Desert Harvesters website - it's the best information around! I love that they purchased a community hammermill to process the mesquite beans. And for a simple step-by-step way to process them at home, check out my mesquite post from a couple of years ago.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wild Spinach + Purslane

Be on the lookout for wild spinach and purslane popping up in and around your gardens and compost piles. These are two of the very best wild greens. They are packed with vitamins and minerals, are easy to find and are tasty even when it gets hot and the plants start flowering and going to seed. Eat them raw or cooked - I love to add a few leaves to my summer smoothies.

Wild Spinach or Lamb's Quarter (Chenopodium album)

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Turk's Cap

Turk's Cap Flowers

Turk's Cap Flowers and Mexican Apples, Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii
Eat the leaves, flowers and fruit raw or cooked.

The Mexican apple is more commonly known as Turk’s cap but that name, while appropriately describing the shape of the flower, does little justice to its edible qualities. The Mexican apple plant is one of the few multi-season wild edibles that gives us Texans something to nibble nearly every month of the year.

The Mexican apple is a low-growing perennial shrub that typically grows in shaded woodlands and spreads easily and quickly by underground runners. It is also a very common landscape plant and is one of the easiest wild edibles to transplant into your own yard. The opposite, thick leaves often look like baseball mits and are the size of the average palm on a hand.  The tiny red flowers on top of the plant do look like Turk’s caps that eventually turn into tiny, red apple-like fruits. It can be found growing wild and in landscapes throughout Texas.

Beginning in late winter, the tender young leaves sprout from the perennial roots, giving us some greens for salads or cooking. As the weather heats up and the plants get bigger, the leaves quickly loose their tenderness, become a little fuzzy and are better cooked or used for dolmas. Harvest the beautiful, red flowers in late spring and summer to adorn your salads. But remember to leave some blooms to the bees so that the plant will produce the sugary, cucumber-tasting Mexican apples in the fall.

Turks cap leaves should be washed and hydro-cooled and can be stored for a couple of days fresh. They can also be preserved like grape leaves. The flowers are extremely perishable and should be plucked just before they are served fresh. You can also dry the flowers and make a hibiscus-like tea out of them – the Mexican apple plant is related to hibiscus. Whether they are the size of marbles or pinballs, Mexican apples shrivel quickly due to their low water content and should be eaten or processed soon after harvest.
Mexican Apple or Turk's Cap Fruit

Mexican Apple Agua Fresca
Makes 2 cups agua fresca
The amber color of this juice may trick folks into believing it is actually apple juice or Texas tea. But the earthy, cucumber-sweet flavor will be a pleasant, unique surprise. Serve with a few Turk’s cap flower petals floating in each glass for an added wild edible experience. And don’t forget that some juices are meant to be spiked! Add some tequila and you’ll have a delicious cocktail on the rocks.

1/2  c ripe Mexican apples
½ c dried Turk’s cap flowers
2 c water
¼ c sugar (you can adjust sweetener amount and type based on your own taste)

Wash the fruit and place in a saucepan with the flowers, water and sugar. Simmer approximately 15 to 20 minutes until the fruit softens. Crush the fruit with the back of a large spoon or a masher. Strain the liquid through several layers of cheesecloth and gently squeeze out all the juices. Let it cool and serve over ice.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Prickly Pear Flowers

Keep an eye out for these gorgeous, succulent treats! They're crunchy, colorful, nutritious and tasty on top of any salad or sandwich. Pluck the yellow or orange prickly pear flower petals and eat them raw or lightly sauteed.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wild Blackberries

We're at the tail-end of wild blackberry and dewberry season out here in the Texas Hill Country, but there still might be a few of these deliciously tart little gems out in the fields. Watch out for chiggers and snakes and then harvest away!

The kids enjoy eating the berries straight out of our harvest bag

If you manage to harvest enough to freeze or use in cooking, here's a quick and easy way to enjoy them baked:

Wild Blackberry Crostatas

Once baked, the crostatas are best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top

2 c flour
3/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks cold, unsalted butter
3 to 4 Tbsp. ice water or heavy cream
1 c blackberries

Preheat the oven to 425º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you don't have parchment, you can use foil or a nonstick pan but be sure you coat the pan with a nonstick spray or rub it down with butter.

Combine the flour, 1/2 c of the sugar and salt and whisk together. Cut the butter into small pieces and cut in to the flour mixture with a pastry blender or a food processor until the butter chunks are the size of peas. Slowly add 1 tablespoon of liquid at a time and stir or pulse until the dough comes together. Once you can push the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic and let it rest in your fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

Once it has rested and the butter in the mixture has firmed up, remove it from the fridge and divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Sprinkle your counter with flour and roll or press each piece out into an imperfect round (see picture), about 1/8 inch thick, and set on the baking sheet. Spoon several berries into the center of each round and pull the dough up around the berries to form a triangle or square shaped pastry, pinching it at the corners to make sure it doesn't unravel in the oven. Place the whole pan in the fridge for another 30 minutes to allow the dough the rest again.

Remove from the fridge and coat the top of each crostata with egg wash if desired (to make it turn extra golden brown in the oven) and sprinkle the extra sugar over the top. Place the crostatas in the preheated oven and bake for 15 to 25 minutes until brown at the edges. Don't be surprised if some of the blackberry juices spill over during cooking - it will simply add to the rustic look of a crostata! Let cool on a rack and then serve warm. Or, you can store them in the fridge and warm them up in an oven when you're ready to serve.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Prickly Pears

Opuntia engelmannii - Our most common prickly pear cactus species here in Central Texas

Seen any of the new growth on our prickly pears lately? 'Tis the season for many wild edibles, but these young, tender pads are one of the most substantial, nutritious and prolific vegetables available right now. Here's one way to harvest and process them:

1. Put on some very thick, sturdy gloves.
2. While holding one pad with your gloved hand, cut each new pad (new ones have tiny green leaves coming out of the areoles, along with thorns) off just above where it has sprouted off an older pad.
3. While still holding it, trim off the outer edge all the way around to eliminate the many tiny thorns that congregate along the margins of the pad.
4. While still holding the pad, take a knife and scrape off the leaves and thorns from the surface of the pad.
5. Throw the partially cleaned pad in your harvest bucket or bag and proceed to the next pad.
6. Once you've collected all that you need, return to your kitchen and wash the pads under a steady stream of water. At this point, you might want to replace your thorny outdoor gloves with some equally sturdy indoor gloves because the pads will still have some tiny thorns attached. Beware, they hurt!
7. Once you've cleaned off the pads with water (it's OK if you didn't remove every single tiny thorn) slice them and cook them up or freeze them for later use.

These pads were harvested out on our farm. After slicing them, I slid them into a freezer bag and stuck them in the freezer to use for tacos later.

* I will publish more detailed instructions and recipes soon!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Agarita Harvest

The kids inspect the agarita bush

We harvested agarita berries on Sunday at our farm near Wimberley, Texas. Chris snapped some pictures of the event:

Joe Henry and Garner with the wagon full of tools
First, we loaded the wagon with various harvest baskets, plastic bins and lids. When harvesting agaritas, it's easiest to use something wide, sturdy and lipped to place underneath the bush to catch the berries.

I find it easiest to harvest by limb and section, but there are several ways to get these sweet-tart little berries off the plant. I lay my container (in the above picture, it is a plastic lid from a storage bin) on the ground under a few limbs. I'll then hold the end of each limb and beat it with a stick or wooden spoon. The ripe berries will fall onto the container along with some debris.

Whacking the limb over the container

 Once I've moved my containers around to all parts of  the bush and I feel like I've whacked enough limbs, I'll begin to sort out the berries (or red jewels, as my kids call them) from the debris.

Baskets can also be used for the harvest

Pulling the good berries from the blue bin and placing them in the yellow bin

After I sort out the good berries from the bad, I then process them or freeze them for later. Here are a few more shots from our agarita harvest:

My helpers

Garner preferred to harvest the berries by hand and eat every other one

Bringing in the Harvest

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Berberis trifoliolata - the most common species found in Texas

Agaritas are ripe here in Central Texas, y'all! Quick, get out there and harvest them before the birds eat them all. Eat the red-ripe berries raw, seeds and all, or extract their juices to make wine, jelly, sauces, meat glazes and other creative dishes.
 The story of grannies in long skirts and boots, beating agarita bushes with sticks to release the berries is commonly told throughout Texas. Indeed, the agarita berry is plentiful in Central, South and West Texas and is sweetly tart, making it an excellent candidate for nibbling trailside or collecting in large quantities for sauces, mixed drinks, juices, jellies, and wines.

Agarita blooms are one of the first sweet smells to enchant the hiker in early spring. Follow your nose to the tiny yellow flowers covering a small shrub distinguished by its tough, evergreen leaves with extra firm, spiny edges. Remember the shrub’s location, usually found on a fenceline or at the edge of the woods, and return in a few weeks to collect the tiny berries that ripen to a deep red.

When agarita berries are ripe, they can be plucked from the bush and eaten raw though the tender-fingered should beware. Harvesting the berries bare-handed is tricky. Large quantities of the berries can be collected by laying a sheet, kiddie pool, box or other container (preferably wide, rigid, and lipped) underneath the bush. Hold one or two limbs at a time and gently shake or whack it with a stick so that the berries fall into the container - ripe ones will fall easily. Once collected, the stems, leaves and other plant debris should be removed by winnowing in front of a fan, picking through by hand (again, not for the tender-fingered) or sifting through on a counter like you would sift through dried beans for rocks (this method was actually recommended by a Texas granny.) Washing and sifting can be done simultaneously by placing the harvest in a basin of water and then gently running your hands through the mixture - most of the debris will stick to your hand and the dirt will fall to the bottom of the basin. You can rinse your hands off and repeat as needed. When all the debris is removed, dry the berries on a towel.

Once the berries are washed, you can freeze them or prepare them.  To extract their juices, cover the berries with hot water and let them soak for at least 30 minutes. Mash them with a potato masher and then pour the mixture through a jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth. The berries can also be blended with a bit of water, and then strained or they can be juiced using a standard juicer. Do not boil the berries since this will cause berberine, a bitter alkaloid, to be released. Fresh agaritas can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two but are best used fresh or frozen for processing later. Agarita juice can also be frozen for up to a year.

Agarita Jelly Recipe
Makes 2 pints
Slightly tart and perfectly sweet, the soft-red colored agarita jelly is a Texas treat on everything from biscuits to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

4 c agaritas
1 package of pectin
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
¾ c sugar per cup of agarita juice

Place agaritas in a bowl or pan and pour hot water over the berries just until covered. Let sit for 30 minutes then mash vigorously with a potato masher to release the juices. Strain through cheesecloth or a jelly bag and squeeze thoroughly to extract all of the juices. Measure and pour the juice into a pot and add the pectin and lemon juice. Bring to a boil then add ¾ c sugar per cup of agarita juice and stir constantly. Bring to a boil for 2-4 minutes. Test the liquid to see if it will gel by taking a spoonful out, letting it cool, and then pouring it back in. If some of liquid runs together into a sticky sheet, it’s ready to gel. Pour the hot liquid into sterilized jars, place the caps and rings on tightly and boil in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Note: This recipe does not make a lot of jelly so if you plan on eating it within a few weeks, you don't need to can it and process in a hot water bath. Simply put in in airtight containers and store it in your refrigerator.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Eriobotrya japonica

It's loquat harvesting season here in Central Texas! Though they are not native, these bushy evergreen trees have naturalized quite well and are easy to find growing in our wildlands. Native to China, they are sometimes called the Chinese plum.

A friend commented that the shores of Lady Bird Lake in Austin are loaded right now with ripe loquats and the best way to harvest them is by boat (or SUP board, as she does.) Eat the fruit raw or cooked; the seeds can be planted to produce additional trees. Many people peel the fruit before eating, but the skin is edible so bite right in and taste the subtle hints of citrus, peach and melon.

One of Chris' co-workers delivered several pounds of loquats to us so I made loquat pie! Check out Addie Broyle's latest article in the Austin360 blog for some more loquat recipes.

To prepare the loquats, I cut the ends off, cut them in half and then removed the seeds

Loquat Pies

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wild Cardoon

Carduus nutans
I spent some time foraging at Madroño Ranch  near Medina, Texas last week in preparation for an upcoming class. I was thrilled to discover a field full of wild cardoons. Related to artichokes and commonly called musk thistles, the wild cardoon's stem and flower bud can be peeled and eaten raw or cooked. The leaves are also edible but should be trimmed to remove the nasty spines.
Nibbling peeled Carduus stem

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Yucca Flowers

Yucca Flowers, Yucca species
Eat the ivory-white flowers raw or cooked, but be sure to pluck out the central stamen and pistils since they can be bitter. Some yucca species produce palatable fruit that can be eaten raw or cooked.

The flowering stalks of the menacing daggers erect themselves in the spring to tempt their pollinators and impress with their display. Though brief and fleeting, the beautiful white blooming flowers are a unique, crunchy texture and nutty taste for our tables.

Many different yucca species grow in Texas and all have edible flowers and fruit. Of course we call some plants yuccas that aren’t true yuccas (such as the red yucca - Hesperaloe parvifolia) so be sure you’re indulging in the right kind of flower. Some yuccas are considered trees and others shrubs. Whether their fibrous, dagger-like leaves are high in the sky or low to the ground, you’ll have to figure out a way to trim past them to harvest the tropical-looking treat. Simply bend them aside or snip off the sharp tips with pruners or clippers, and pluck the flowers off the central stalk. Take care of your precious eyes!

Once harvested, the yucca flowers should be soaked in water for several minutes to drown out any bugs tucked inside the petals.  Once washed, pluck the central stamen and pistils and eat the crunchy, outer petals raw or cooked. The whole flowers are gorgeous stuffed with anything sweet or savory. The flowers will keep in the vegetable crisper for a few days, though they tend to turn bitter.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wild Onions

Allium canadensis var. canadensis

Smell any onions on your hikes lately? It's a perfect time to find these tiny, wild delicacies. And like their cultivated cousins, all parts of the plant can be eaten - even the purplish bulbils on the top! But always be sure they smell like onions before consuming since there are poisonous look-alikes such as the rain lily and crow poison.

Wild Garlic and Onions, Allium species
Eat the bulbs, bulbils, leaves, flowers and stem-like scapes raw or cooked but always make sure they smell like onions before harvesting!

Foragers should remember that seeing is not the only way to identify a plant. Our noses are tremendously helpful when trying to locate, identify and understand a plant. A true wild onion will always smell distinctly onion-y. That onion smell, wafting up to greet your nose, might be the first hint that wild alliums are underfoot when you’re walking in the woods or along a creek.  Little tear-drop shaped bulbils, often tinted purple or pearl-white, growing like a flower on top of some species may also give you a hint that you’ve stumbled upon a wild onion patch. Don’t trust your eyes when foraging for wild onions since there are a few wild plants that look the same. Smell first, and then taste. If your mouth fills with that familiar, sharp and pungent onion-taste while munching on a little bit of leaf or a bulb, you’ll know for sure you’ve found a fabulous, fresh patch of wild onion.

Wild onions and garlic grow in every part of Texas, though a more diverse selection of species can be found in the eastern two-thirds of the state. The perennial allium has flat or semi-hollow leaves that can grow 12 inches or taller from a bulb just beneath the soil surface. A single flowering stalk or scape rises from the center and usually bears white, purple or pink flowers. All parts of the plant are edible and can be used as you would any cultivated onion or garlic. The difference between cultivated garlic and onions is distinct. In the wild, it’s not so easy to distinguish. Even botanists have a hard time classifying what is an onion and what is garlic. Taste will possibly help you, but be assured that wild onions and wild garlic are all perfectly edible and tasty on any table.

Wild allium bulbs and bulbils can be stored fresh for several days to weeks in the refrigerator though the greens will only store for a day or two and should be used fresh. Wild onions do not usually store well like some cultivated onions. However, they do keep underground so remember where the patch is and long after the green leaves have died back, you can still dig up wild onion bulbs. But be sure to leave some to multiply and reproduce for years to come.

Wild Tart
Egg custards are wonderfully forgiving and versatile, allowing you to mix and match ingredients. If you can’t find wild spinach or dock for this recipe, feel free to substitute other wild greens such as amaranth or violet leaves.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ c wild onions, chopped (you can use a mixture of bulbs, leaves and bulblets)
2 c packed wild greens such as wild spinach and dock, chopped
1 or 2 medium-sized tomatoes, sliced
1/3 c spreadable goat cheese
½ c shredded mozzarella
¼ c feta
4 eggs
½ c cream
½ tsp. salt
For the pastry:
1 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 stick or ½ c. cold butter, cubed
2-4 Tbsp. ice water
Preheat the over to 350º. To prepare the pastry, sift flour, Parmesan, salt and black pepper together in bowl. Cut-in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or mixer until the mixture is crumbly. Add ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough sticks together in a ball. Hand-press the dough into a 9 or 10 inch tart pan.
To prepare the filling, sauté the wild onions and spinach in olive oil for a few minutes, just until the greens are wilted. Spread the goat cheese on the bottom of the tart shell, then sprinkle the other cheeses on top. Layer the sliced tomatoes and onion/greens mixture on top of the cheeses. Whisk together the eggs, cream and salt and pour over the top. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Shepherd's Purse

And other heart-shaped wild edibles you can find on Valentine's Day!

Capsella bursa-pastoris
Oxalis spp.
Viola spp.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


There are several species of Lepidium in Texas - Lepedium virginicum or Poor Man's Pepper is very common. They are all edible and provide a fabulous spicy flavor to your salads, pestos and other dishes.

Edible part(s): Leaves, tender stems, seed pods or silques and flowers

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Wild Spring Salad
Clockwise from bottom left: Oxalis, Chickweed, Dandelion, Mallow, Spiderwort
And featuring redbud blooms in the center

The redbud trees will begin to bloom very soon -- especially if we continue to have such spring-like weather! Enjoy the gorgeous pink blooms in your salads.

Cercis canadensis

Edible part(s): Flowers, young tender pods

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sow Thistle

Sow Thistle Tarts

Young sow thistle (Sonchus asper and Sonchus oleraceus) leaves and tender stems make a lovely, vitamin-rich vegetable. Tart recipe coming soon!

 Sonchus oleraceus

Edible Part(s): Leaves, stems, flowers, roots

A note about this blog: I am in the process of moving my blog content from here to this blog site - thanks for following my posts!