Thursday, November 17, 2022

Phillip Elden: What’s For Dinner In The Wild?

Phillip Elden

If you live anywhere in Oregon, you have access to a bounty of free food for the taking. According to conservation specialist Phillip Elden, the public lands of his home state are rich with everything from pineapple weed to bitter crest to dandelions. 
Miner’s Lettuce 
Along the Oregon coast you’ll find miner's lettuce. This small leafy green, which is rich with vitamin C, was eaten more than 100 years ago by coastal miners. The vitamin C content helped these hard-working men and women avoid scurvy. 
Stinging Nettle 
Stinging nettle is not the first thing you might think of to put on your plate, says Phillip Elden. However, once you get past the poking spines, the leaves of this beautiful and lush plant are full of vitamins and minerals. Further, since nettle tastes a bit like spinach, it’s the ideal addition to your foraged salad. 

Wood Sorrells 
Wood sorrel is often mistaken for giant three leaf clovers. Although they are a bit tart, they make a great springtime snack that can be boiled for a quick boost of nutrition. Phillip Elden cautions, however, against eating large quantities as it can cause stomach upset. 
Spruce Tips 
Now that you’ve got your salad together, Phillip Elden says it’s time to make a delicious dressing. Look around for the coniferous tree known as the spruce, and you will have access to the tips, which can be steeped in apple cider vinegar for a delicious dressing that will have you ready for your next foraging adventure. 
According to Phillip Elden, foraging is a great way to spend time in nature. Before you go, he recommends ensuring that you can legally remove plants from your land of choice, and make sure that you forage responsibly. He also suggests keeping a foraging handbook close by so that you know what is safe and what’s not.