Unique Recipes for the Adventurous Cook
Ugly Little Greens is the must-have foraging guide and cookbook for anyone looking to up their game in the kitchen. Mia Wasilevich shares the notes and dishes she’s cultivated over the years while working as a professional chef and educational forager. Her detailed profiles and up close pictures (plus possible look-alikes) allow you to safely find special ingredients to bring new and exciting flavors and textures to everyday dishes. And more importantly, the ingredients are unexpectedly some of the most common and forgotten weeds growing right under your nose and waiting to be harvested from your own backyard and surrounding environment.
Her recipes include:
- Spicy Cattail and Chorizo Salsa
- Elderberry Braised Pot Roast
- Acorn Sliders
- Pine Beignets with Pine Cream
- Lambsquarters Marbled Bread
- Succulents and Scallops
- Mallow Pappardelle
- Nettles Benedict
With information on how to forage for and cook with nettles, cattail, watercress and more— including helpful color photos, location maps, key identifying tips (and no dangerous mushrooms)—this book is perfect for foodies.
Self-trained Los Angeles–area chef Wasilevich gathers her recipes for common edible plants found in backyards as well as further afield. Wasilevich suggests that her book, rather than being an encyclopedic reference, is “for someone who’s done some study and research” on the subject already. Descriptions and directions are cursory, with the occasional eye-opener, such as the warning “extremely toxic, can cause death” about a to-be-avoided doppelgänger for (safe) chickweed. Other plants Wasilevich discusses include stinging nettle, likely familiar to even beginning foragers. Recipes, organized according to the wild plant called for, range from a simple elderflower-infused butter, to a curious bread inspired by Japanese shoku-pan with puree of wild-lamb quarters flavoring the marbled dough, to the more-appealing “moccolini,” where mustard buds stand in for larger-gauge, cultivated brassicas. Harvesting and cooking with possibly poisonous plants is a hairy proposition, to be sure—and, indeed, Wasilevich herself was educated in the old-fashioned oral tradition and suggests that “an actual person teaching you is the best source.” A mere reader, then, should proceed with caution. (May)