What we consider to be a nasty weed, that grows in every corner of urban or wild spaces and stings us on top it, is the stinging nettle. The leaves and stems are covered with hollow stinging hairs called trichomes. They act like hypodermic needles, injecting histamine and other chemicals producing a stinging sensation when we touch them.
They have a flavor a bit to spinach and are rich in vitamin A and C, Iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium. So voilà! Everything we need in a weed!
Now they are in bloom and full of seeds! The seeds have protein too and taste nutty. You can throw them into a salad or simply caramelize them quickly in a fraying pan with a bit of sugar or honey. Simply wonderful!
(ha!, I have been eating lots of them in the last couple of weeks and recently had my blood checked. The doctor asked my why my blood is so iron rich, if I'm eating a lot of meat these days?)
Summer salad with wild herb salad, cornflower leaves, black currants, caramalised nettle seeds and cucumber.
We started out with a clear vegetable summer soup, simple boiling the stock vegetables and straining them. The color come from a heirloom carot and some fresh parsley roots gave a wonderful taste. A batavia salad with caramelized nettles was a highlight. I picked the nettles the day before. There are everywhere now full with seeds. They grow higher then myself (so there is no way that dog or man can do their business on them). The main course were nettle barley burgers on a fresh herb pesto and cod. And since it's berry season, how can we not make a berry tart, with berries piled high and cassis infused whipped cream.
Very proud of my students! this time from New Mexico, Mexico City, Norway and Düsseldorf.
not that much fruits this year due to cold april weather, but nevertheless june and july are always delicious times of the year
Clear and so yummy potatoe soup. Traditional German but made completely different. Here with herb pesto and borage flower and leaves.
Yes ! We took on the sausage making. It's a bit tricky, but so delicious, especially on this fresh fava bean, fresh bortolli bean and fresh pea pot-pourrie.
And last, but not least, the strawberry-quark-cream ice cream on fruit in season compote, sprinkled with white chocolate. Yum!
Five students from San Francisco learned all about Frankford Green Sauce and white ASparagus. They nailed it!
One great Invention, that I wish every big city would take on: the neighborhood food assembly: local Farmers bring their freshest produce to your hood.
I ordered locally made goat cheeses, asia salat, but what I'm most excited about is a jar of black walnuts. As I'm awaiting mid/end June for the fruit to appear on the trees and pick them all green and un-ripe to make black walnuts myself. It'd be good to try them again to learn about the perfect consistency and taste. Last year I picked them too late and a thin layer of shell was already built. And that just doesn't work, because it feels like you eat an egg with eggshell in it.
and nothing is more comforting than the sight and smell of freshly baked sour dough bread in the morning
is cultivated for its ornamental flower, and here in Germany, mostly for its edible root, and herbal properties. It also grows wild and is known as
purple or common salsify
goatsbeard or simply
It tastes wonderfully buttery with a combined sweet and tartness. Here with red beets and black caraway seeds, seared in a bit of olive oil.
Class with four wonderful Israeli women, who were so curious about the produce and the misconception about 'German' food. I got to introduce them to 'Bärlauch', = wild garlic leaves, which we turned into a delicious wild pesto, using the momentum for the last week it's around. White asparagus greeted us here and there, but I held study telling them the season has not really yet begun. But then I'm thinking: a season begins when a produce is harvested from the fields, no? And I think this first asparagus is from the fields. So, next time, it will be official for sure.
I had the opportunity to purchase a piece of a free range, organic farm raised pig the night before the class. It was a pleasing experience to cook pork, which I rarely eat, knowing that it came from this amazing farm near Berlin.
We did create a purple colored carrot soup - all from scratch and based on a vegetable stock. We had red carrots and they turned our soup into this outrageous color.
And nothing compares to the fresh wild garlic, which grows in March/April all over Germany. Here we made delicious pesto with a bavarian mountain cheese and handcrafted linseed oil. We tossed new potatoes in the pesto and served them with vegetarian cabbage rolls with a king-oyster- mushroom filling.
...like Bärlauch, which are wild garlic leaves, which are among the first greens to pop through the ground. You can see here, most of the regional food are still beets, parsnips and onions. The Tomatoes and the pear are from Italy and France (delicious !). So we have to hang on a bit longer the first harvests of spring and summer produce.
What a fun day! Our friend took us to the Reading Terminal Market and I have to say, I haven't been in such a vibrant and authentic food place to a long time. No trendy food business, but a truely Philadelphia tradition that's been around since 1893. And the German immigrants left their mark on culinary traditions. As I'm researching for a concept dinner, this was a great insight.
Names of businesses in original writing, and of course pickles (eingelegte Gurken) and Sauerkraut everywhere.
The interesting thing is that the idea of Sausage really took a whole other level in the US. to the left you see all kinds of 'Bratwurst' with lots of different ingredients and flavors. To the right, it's more like the traditional German sausage making.
The doughnut bakery attracted many visitors. Delicious. The German style is filled only with marmalade and sprinkled with sugar, called a 'Berliner', except in Berlin, there it's called a 'Pfannkuchen' (which means pancake)
And after visiting the fabulous Reading Market, we went into the first public library ever built in the US, followed by a visit at the Barnes Foundation. The day finished with 2 great whiskies aht the Village Whiskey pub. Go Philly!
"When you no longer want to taste something tasty, you can taste the real flavor of whatever you are eating".
Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution
I have a patch of land and am experimenting a bit with sowing vegetables and leaving them alone to nature. This is the result. Wonderful, tasty misfits. Carrots. So happy.
16 States to explore, lot's of stories and the discovery of funny words...i.e. Huckelkuchen.
photos by Nora Novak. @ Schoene Heimat
Heimat... one creates a home from memory... back in the states, florida. So it's ceviche time. Fresh local Swordfish and florida shrimp.