Springtime Means Wild Edibles in Vermont!
Springtime in Vermont, for me, means heading out into the woods to find dinner. Or at least a component of dinner. For a week or so, wild leeks, or ramps, have been filing my plate. These absolutely luscious plants grow in large clusters in the woods and can easily be picked with the help of a trowel, or with a gloved hand (I prefer to use a latex glove, which allows me to still feel for the roots and accurately procure the entire leek). The entire plant is edible; the white bottom portion can be sauteed with butter or olive oil and fresh asparagus (if you are so lucky to have some) and the garlicky leaves make an amazingly fresh tasting pesto (my recipe is to mix as many leaves as you would like in a food processor with olive oil, fresh Parmesan, a touch of salt and a tablespoon or so of cashew butter, adjust amounts to your liking and serve over warm pasta.
Another great way to enjoy the new season would be to have a fresh, locally grown meal or to take a cooking class with Chef Doug Mack at Mary’s Restaurant at the Inn at Baldwin Creek in Bristol, VT. Their fabulous spring menu can be viewed here. You may also be interested in participating in one of their monthly ‘Table Talks’ which includes a specially created dinner and lively discussions on food trends, food politics, the environment, and local history. The discussions are free and a three-course meal is $25. Click here to learn more.