Transitioning From Winter to Spring: Wild Foods!

by Katharine Ostrowski, Guest Tastemaker - Urban Nettle in conjunction with Loon OrganicsTastemaker in Residence

When we open our greenhouse in mid March it’s a wonderful feeling. The hard part is…it means it will be at least 2 months or longer till we will have fresh greens and little baby radishes. Thankfully we live on a lovely 40 acre farm that is filled with all sorts of “free” spring greens to satisfy our chlorophyll-deprived winter pallets. 

Nettles, dandelion greens and dock leaves make it seem like nature’s bounty of wild foods are a little thank you gift to us for battling through the rough and tough Minnesota winter. About mid April the baby nettles start to sprout and into the sauté pan they go with some winter storage onions. Add a little broth, sauté a little longer add some eggs and you have a delicious egg dish sure to fool anyone at an Easter/Spring brunch the greens aren’t spinach.

Other foods options include young daylily greens to adorn a grated carrot salad with some wild ramp infused vinegar dressing. Baby dock leaves are also delicious chiffonade atop the salad for a zesty sorrel-like bite. Chickweed greens as they start to sprout are another delicious crunchy green that creates a lovely simple salad when dressed with a zesty vinaigrette. And of course we always anticipate mid May when morels start to pop!

Our transition isn’t too painful thankfully. If it weren’t for the wild greens we’d definitely feel the burden of our hearty meat and potato winter diet. The wild greens make the transition of seasons lovely and delightful. Below are a few of our favorite wild green dishes. 

Enjoy, happy foraging and remember to make sure you know the wild greens you are gathering. There are poisonous plants out there! 

Find recipes from Katharine for...

Nettles n' Eggs

Grated Carrot Salad with Wild Greens  

And visit Katharine at Urban Nettle for more tips on wild and wonderful foods!