Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gather Your Grub

Posted By on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Steelhead from Stanley and Canal Bank Asparagus.
  • Steelhead from Stanley and Canal Bank Asparagus.

It is the time of year for some springtime gathering of the grub. With the wet-hot-wet-hot conditions over the past month, the pickings are great for some edible greens.

First, and easiest, is the backyard dandelion. Don’t just weed eat these guys. Pull them up by the root, wash them and toss them in a salad mix. Use a sweeter dressing to balance out the tartness of the green.

Next in line is the less-than-humble asparagus. These little buggers are in full swing right now and can grow up to four inches per hour in the right conditions. If you pick a patch on Monday, by Wednesday, they should be back in business. I break all the old stalks that have started to bloom off so that the plant is forced to send up new shoots. This will keep the plant producing food for longer.

Stinging nettle is abundant along the canal banks in certain spots in Boise. You have to cook nettle to enjoy it. Just make sure that the weeds that you eat are not getting sprayed by chemicals or too near a road where they can pick up nasty compounds.

With the Boise River at flood stage, check the local fish stocking reports for info on where the trout are in the city. Use a worm and take the kids fishing.

Wild alfalfa can be eaten, but it tastes like crap.

Check the swampy areas for new green shoots of cattail. Pull them up and peel back the layers for a white, asparagus-like treat.

Reports claim that the morel mushroom is poking its head up as well.

Get out and enjoy the weather and look for some grub while you are at it.

Twenty-six inches of pure green gold.
  • Twenty-six inches of pure green gold.

For more on cooking and gathering, as well as recipes, check out Chefrandyking.com

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