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Sunday, December 18, 2011

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The Wild Table is a beautiful book. Stunningly photographed and expertly written, it's an excellent guide to gathering and cooking wild foods. The book is arranged by season and includes a wild calendar so you'll know when to look forward to fiddleheads, morrels and huckleberries. Also included is important information about identifying, selecting, cleaning, preparing and storing wild edibles.

Connie Green, a champion of wild foods, describes herself as "sitting squarely at the curious crossroads of the Stone Age and haute cuisine." In this book she takes us on a tour of foods we can forage for, including ramps, nettles and walnuts. Green includes unusual fare like cactus pads, persimmons, elderberry flowers and Douglas fir tips.

Some of the foods are even medicinal: Maitake mushrooms are used to treat infections and cancer. Fennel dispells intestinal gas. Dandelion promotes good digestion and helps protect us from environmental toxins. Rose hips and wild berries are full of antioxidants and
vitamin C. Wild foods are good for us.

Sarah Scott supplies the recipes. Personally, I'm looking forward to making the Savory C├Ępes Flan on page 184, Spice-Roasted Venison with Elderberry Port Sauce on page 230, and Stir-fried Dandelion Greens with Duck Fat and Garlic on page 284.

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