One wild myrtle leaf transforms lentils. When wild blackberry shoots, hedge mustard, and field mustard flowers get paired with homegrown peaches and new beet leaves, the flavors get even more wild -- and delicious!
I've been swamped with other projects. So I wandered my yard for ingredients to go with lentils. The wild field mustard is all abloom with its bright yellow flowers. The blackberry bushes are pushing up, like monsters. They grow so fast, but there are some shoots that brand new, less than a couple days old, with soft stems yet. And the Oregon Myrtle shrub is getting out of hand. It's an Oregon native plant that has a small range along the Pacific coast of North America.
I recently dug a Lutz beet out of the sand-filled bin that I use to store them over the winter. The beets are keeping well. All I want from this beet right now, though, are those bright red baby leaves, just starting to sprout from the beetroot.
I have a jar of dried Charlotte peaches, still in my pantry. I was inspired to use them by @prydefoltz, who says goat cheese and dried peaches are really good together. I went back outside and got some wild Hedge mustard, too. It goes so well with goat cheese.
I put the lentils on the stove to cook, with some leftover sauteed elephant garlic cloves and the Oregon myrtle leaf. Then I peel the blackberry shoots down to their inner core. The outer part is prickly and the peel tastes like tannin, so it's no good. I blanch the inner cores and then brown them in butter.
I crush the wild field mustard flowers into a paste, with a little salt added to draw out their moisture. I soak the dried peaches in warm water to soften them. And I chop the hedge mustard very fine and mix with the goat cheese.
Lentils are such a good base for so many flavors. But in this dish, they have an extra lightness with the Oregon myrtle leaf. I used that leaf in my first Steemit Iron Chef entry, Wild Myrtle Tomato Soup. It's such a unique flavor that swirls all through your head.
What Do You Think?
- Have you ever used a Oregon-myrtle leaf?
- Have you even had goat cheese with dried peaches?
- Have you ever eaten wild mustard flowers?
- Do you have to fight back blackberry vines?
- Would you eat my myrtle lentil stacks?
I eat a lot of wild plants and show you how, because I believe that we can all have lives that are richer, more secure, more grounded, and more interesting by getting to know the plants and the land around us – in our yards, our parks, and our wild places.
Thanks @progressivechef for creating the Steemit Iron Chef contest series!
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- Elephant garlic - Allium ampeloprasum - flowers
- Oregon-myrtle - Umbellularia californica - leaf
- Wild field mustard - Brassica rapa - flowers
- Himalayan blackberry - Rubus armeniacus - core of new shoots
- Hedge mustard - Sisymbrium officinale - tender leaves
- Beet - Beta vulgaris - young leavees
- Peaches - Prunus persica - fruit