And now our final installment of the foraging workshop with Doug Simon. Right near his home we found a jujube plant. Doug assumed this was planted since it shouldn't be found wild in our area but he wasn't sure how many generations ago it would have found its way here. Super nutritious and meaty. Harvestable through September and with a juicy date-like flavor. Left on the plant they'll dry out but retain their sweet flavor.
A big surprise to me was that we had wild currant in the area. Doug says that we have red and black but today we found black alongside the river. They were coming to an end so early September is the time to look. The red is available in June and July.
Another of my favorites from this workshop is wild prickly poppy.
As of today the seed pods are still closed in our area, but once they open I'm going to gather as many as I can. Great potential for texture in chocolates, but of course you could go with the old standbys of poppyseed dressing or muffins. Bring gloves to harvest.
And lastly is Lambs Quarters. An edible green that is best cooked and best picked young in Spring to early Summer. Its nutritious with a nice flavor and is comparable to purslane except that its available earlier in the year.
A couple of closing thoughts. This is our last workshop with Doug although we'll happily facilitate anyone who wants to get in touch with Doug. My next step is to start documenting my use of these plants since I'm doing modernist recipes which I haven't seen around too much in restaurants and I think it would be fun to share those recipes.
Doug recommended that anyone in our area get Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains by Harrington for further reading. I hope you enjoyed and found these write-ups useful.
Farina Alto – Albuquerque, New Mexico
18 hours ago