Recipe: spicy tuna roll burger
***Don’t forget you have until the end of Friday, June 1, 2012 to enter my giveaway. Five people will win a custom dog or cat collar for their favorite furry pal and I will also donate $20 to each person’s animal shelter or rescue of choice!***
The more Jeremy and I talk about it, the more I am convinced that a mountain bike is a great thing to have during the zombie apocalypse. And a bike repair kit. You’ll want a backpack for carrying weapons and other stuff.
oh, and you’ll want a wendy
When I first met Wendy, she was making a delivery of autumn forage to a restaurant: beautiful wild apples, wild grapes, sumac, juniper berries… “Wow!” I exclaimed, “where do you find those?” It was an innocent question, but I didn’t realize that is a question you DO NOT ask a professional wild foods forager. She pursed her lips and grinned like a Cheshire Cat, raising her eyebrows, tilting her head to give me the side eye. Thankfully, I had not offended.
We’ve been planning to go foraging together for months. So it finally happened this week! I drove down to the flats and met up with her in the morning because we both despise the heat. Foraging is a natural extension of hiking for me since I cover up (to protect from sun, bugs, and plants), I carry a pack, I do a lot of walking/hiking, and I identify plants and make note of what stages they are at. In this case, we do all of that AND gather edibles!
Now, I was familiar with most of the plants we foraged, but I had never thought to eat them nor knew that one could. Wendy taught me about the edible parts, the poisonous parts, the stage to harvest, and taking great care to harvest a little bit to leave plenty for the wildlife and so the plants still thrive. She explained a good deal about medicinal and culinary uses of each plant, their typical habitats, and she knew a ton of information regarding the nutrition. Wendy is a bubbly, hilarious walking encyclopedia who sincerely enjoys what she does. You can’t really help but love her.
i had picked two and wendy had already picked all of these (okay, i was taking photos…)
wear gloves to avoid the sticky white sap
I wasn’t in it for the food, I was really interested to learn how Wendy works and to watch a pro in action. We’re plant nerds, so we really had quite the time crawling about places to find the familiar and discover the new. It’s not terribly unlike some of the photography I do where I hike around and my eyes are in scan mode for a certain pattern or color. Pattern recognition. Wendy is quite adept at scanning for multiple plants among a field of what most everyone else would consider weeds. My brain was stuck in asparagus mode – maybe that’s because asparagus is the gateway plant to foraging for me? It’s something we’re all familiar with in the stores and markets, but to find it growing wild was so much fun!
end of the season here, but how precious is that asparagus!
wild roses (ten thousand times better than any domestic rose)
From now on out, I don’t think I’ll be able to walk in green areas without going into search mode. Wendy did point out one lovely plant that stood about 6 feet high. “Don’t ever eat this, don’t even touch it to your mouth. This can kill you.” She explained that most of the plants in Colorado that are bad for you will make you sick, give you a headache, result in an allergic reaction, but not poison hemlock. Poison Hemlock is a neurotoxin and it is one of the few plants in the state that, when ingested, can result in death.
poison hemlock: deadly
We – well really it was Wendy – foraged enough to fill a large cooler. She tried to divvy up the loot and send me home with some, but I declined (except a small bag of elderflowers I had gathered). This is her food, what she lives on. The woman makes some impressive dishes with the ingredients too. I was mainly interested in seeing her at work and learning about the plants. I didn’t realize it would be as fun as it was fascinating. Wendy is a gem.
Another reason I didn’t take some of the wild foods home was because I already had a full fridge at home that demanded my attention. If you will recall that delectable California roll burger I made a few months ago, you can probably guess that I’ve been scheming to give a spicy tuna roll burger a shot.
Spicy tuna sushi is no stranger in this house as we love the sushi and sushi bar-related bites. I get good sushi-grade maguro (tuna) from the Boulder Whole Foods seafood counter. Make sure you get sushi-grade which means the fish has been frozen to the appropriate temperatures (temperatures you won’t reach in your typical home freezer) for long enough to ensure the destruction of any parasites. Not so appetizing to discuss, but worth the alternative of not knowing…
mayonnaise, sriracha, green onions, maguro (tuna)
chopped onions and chopped tuna
mix in the mayonnaise
**Jump for more butter**