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Lemon Balm

Wild Lemon Balm

What incredible tasting herb needs to be on your to bucket list? Lemon balm. There’s only one problem, I find it’s hard to come across wild, compared to the ubiquitous bergamot and elusive peppermints in the areas I hunt in Minnesota and Wisconsin. I know of only one place where it grows, and it’s pretty… 

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Black truffle honey

Black Truffle Honey

Anyone who knows me will tell you I love food and history. This came about after thinking about truffles, and where they came from. I’d just gotten a shipment of tuber brumale, and I wanted to preserve some of them as quick as possible. In the process I got to thinking about how the first… 

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Beef Tartare with dead man's fingers

Beef Tartare With Dead Man’s Fingers And Ramp Vinaigrette

By far, my favorite way to have the dead man’s fingers/Xylaria mushrooms has been thinly sliced over some fresh beef tartare. Think of it as a raw version of the classic steak and mushroom combo. Of course, you wouldn’t have to use only Xylaria here, one of my favorite ways to have tartare is with… 

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dead man's fingers, Xylaria polymorpha

Dead Man’s Fingers / Xylaria Polymorpha

Dead man’s fingers. Just saying the name makes your mouth water. Story goes that last year my friend Sam told me about them, he said he tasted some of the young mushrooms, and enjoyed them. Since I’d never heard of them, I made sure to keep my eyes peeled. Coincidentally, a week or so later… 

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Watermelon Pickles With Wild Szechuan Peppercorns - Zanthoxylum

Watermelon Pickles With Zanthoxylum

Old family recipes can be treasured heirlooms. For a while, I got on a kick where I would reinterpret dishes I remembered the women in my family making. To get inspiration, I called my grandma one week and asked her if she had any recipes from Granny Alice (my great grandma), who was always referred… 

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Fiddlehead-Fava Bean Salad With Pecorino, Peppermint and Spruce

Fiddlehead Salad With Spruce Tips, Peppermint, And Pecorino

Here’s what I made with the last of my fiddleheads this year, it’s a great little spring salad. The origins are Italian. In the Spring, it’s an Italian tradition to have fresh fava beans with hunks of pecorino cheese, a great example of less is more-just beans and cheese, that’s it. A colleague of mine,… 

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Scallops Crudo With Wild Peppercorn Sauce And Sumac_

Scallops Crudo, With Wild Szechuan Peppercorn Sauce And Sumac

Last year I got to cook for a chef from Italy I used to cook under for his anniversary. I wanted to showcase a couple wild ingredients to show my old chef what I learned, some super fresh scallops with a sauce made from wild Szechuan peppercorns and sprinkled with a little tangy sumac was… 

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