In my last IDC post, you all joined in for an interesting discussion about food stigmas. I suspect there are stigmas about wild foods too, though Euell Gibbons did a lot to bring wild foods into the gourmet spotlight. I certainly enjoyed his books and still have my copy of Stalking The Wild Asparagus. In addition, I have a copy of Peterson Field Guides Edible Wild Plants in our homestead library.
The wild onions pictured at left are a common sight. They seem to grow everywhere and it's not unusual to get a whiff of them whenever someone is mowing their lawn.
I harvested some last week and we've been enjoying them. The tops (before flowering) can be chopped and used like chives. They smell wonderful while being sautéed in olive oil or butter...
... and add a mild, pleasant flavor for my scrambled eggs.
The little onion bulbs are like working with shallots and can be used the same way. I took the ones I didn't cook and made a fresh pickle with them, using leftover pickle juice.
They do get stronger (hotter) as they get bigger. But they sauté nicely and make a nice substitute for garden grown onions.
Once they flower, I'm thinking I'll be better able to identify the species.
Medicinally, the wild onions are used for colds and respiratory ailments.
The other thing we've been eating is sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella), another common sight. I haven't found enough to cook a couple of servings by itself, but I've been adding it to cook with spinach. It adds a nice tangy flavor to it. I think it would be an excellent flavoring for fish too.
Sheep sorrel is kin to dock and I read that it's juice can remove rust, mold, and ink stains from linen, wool, and wicker. I haven't tried this though so I don't know how well it works. Anyone?
Although wild foods are sometimes a bit more trouble to gather and prepare than garden grown, I still like the idea having care free, volunteer foods available. Consequently I'm tempted to say that these are two "weeds" that I won't try to eradicate completely, but really, who can keep up with weeds anyway. :)