North American Import & Export Blog » Blog Archive » Chef’s Notes: Wild Produce
Apr 27, 2009

Chef’s Notes: Wild Produce

These are just a few of our wild produce for foodservice options, all foraged to order in the Cascade Wilderness of the Pacific Northwest
Typically Available April through June


Also known as wild leeks, ramps are a wild spring green with a pungent flavor and aroma that is a cross between green onion and garlic. Use ramps like a green onion, either sauteed or raw. They are great in soups, sautés and egg dishes.

Miner’s Lettuce

Most varieties of miner’s lettuce (and there are many) have small delicate green leaves (round or spade shaped) and small clustered white blossoms forming on the inside stems. Miner’s lettuce is best used as a salad green, and is a good base green for mixing with other delicate greens and herbs.

Wood Sorrel

Similar to French Sorrel, wood sorrel has very delicate clover shaped leaves, a vibrant bright lime green color and a lemony flavor (from the presence of oxalic acid). Wood Sorrel is a bright accent in green salads and can be cooked into a sauce or filling.

Stinging Nettles

A fresh, green, spinach/mint flavor characterizes stinging nettles, one of the most versatile, healthy, and delicious plants in the forest. The top two inches from young shoots are the most tender and vibrant. Blanch stinging nettles first for a few minutes to dissolve the stinging agent (folic acid). Then, cook like any other cooking green. Nettles are a great side vegetable or puree for gnocchi or soup.

Wood Violets

Stunning in salads and as a garnish, Wood violets are a beautiful showy plant with leaves and flowers attached together. The leaves have a mellow peppery taste and the showy yellow flowers add a sweet accent. Wood violets are found in marshy areas as a ground cover and are loaded with vitamin C.

For information about some of our other foodservice products, visit our Chef’s Notes Collection.

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