The gathering season has begun for me. It will cost me more to hunt morels than it would to buy them at the market, but I don't mind. The point is to get out and enjoy the outdoors. I don’t care how fresh something is at the store or the market—when I harvest it myself I can taste the difference.
Wild onions are in season now, and the small bulbs of intense flavor go great with fresh trout caught from a mountain stream. Look for little chives in the grass; they're hard to spot but worth finding.
I make a mean stinging nettle soup — use gloves when collecting them.
I try to incorporate the wild items into my menu as much as possible. Again, I can taste the difference. I can taste my hard work and my labor. The mountain stream runs through my mind with each bite. I season less, letting the ingredients shine through. I prepare simple dishes like roasted asparagus: Asparagus, butter, salt and pepper. Same recipe for wild onions and morels.
Randy King is the Executive Chef at Sysco Food Services of Idaho. He has served as the Executive Chef at several locations in Boise including Richard’s in Hyde Park, Crane Creek Country Club and the Doubletree Riverside Hotel. Randy is a member of the American Culinary Federation and has been awarded the elite status of Certified Executive Chef. He can typically be found behind a stove making a mess…and something delicious to eat.