Wild Edible Plants You Can Add to Your Everyday Meals

These wild edible plants can be harvested freely, adding delicious flavors and good health benefits to your meals.

| September/October 1975

Discover how you can use these wild edible plants to incorporate into your meals. Foraging for these wild plants will provide great flavors and health benefits to your daily diet, and best of all, they are free for the taking.


(Zizania aquatica)

This plumy grass, 4 — 10 feet tall, grows in shallow waters of eastern North America from southern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The grain is harvested in late summer or early autumn by paddling a canoe among the plants and knocking the mature seeds into a tarpaulin.

Wild rice must be cleaned before use. Spread the grain to dry in a warm, airy place and parch it for 3 hours in a moderate oven, stirring occasionally. The husks can then be rubbed or beaten off and blown away as the rice is poured back and forth between two containers. To cook this delicacy, wash 1 cup of grain and add it gradually to 1-1/2 cups of salted boiling water. Cover the pan and simmer its contents to tenderness (about half an hour). The result is delicious as is, or in a gourmet version of just about any domestic rice recipe.


Barbarea vulgaris and Barbarea verna

These two look-alikes are widespread in the East (B. vulgaris on rich low-lying ground, B. verna more often in cultivated fields). The rosettes of glossy, lobed leaves spring up readily during mild winter weather and are an excellent source of early greens.

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