There are lots of edible wild plants anyone can forage in the wild. Back in the day, people used to add these delicious edible plants to all sorts of dishes. Of course, they knew them pretty well for their culinary uses and healing properties altogether. If eaten raw, most of the wild edible plants also have amazing healing and detox properties, most of us would use. If you’re new to edible wild plants, let’s get to the list without further ado.
9 Most Delicious Edible Wild Plants You Can Forage
1. Wild Garlic
Wild garlic is one of the most popular and delicious wild edible plants. With a powerful garlic scent and lovely white flowers, wild garlic grows in deciduous forests in mid to late Spring. There are many ways to prepare wild garlic. You can add it to flavor any dish, and also turn it into a paste and prepare a delicious wild pesto. Here is how you can cook wild garlic cream soup, following a simple recipe.
How to Cook Wild Garlic
- Sautee onion in some oil, add small square chopped potatoes and fry them a little.
- Add water to cover the potatoes and boil for 25 minutes. Take the pot off the fire and blend.
- Add natural vegetarian soup spices, sour cream, and finely chopped wild garlic.
- Mix again shortly.
- The wild garlic cream soup is ready.
Decorate with Birdeye Speedwell flowers and wild garlic buds and leaves.
Nettle is undoubtedly one of the most delicious edible wild plants. You can harvest wild nettle in mid-Spring, by picking the young, fresh tips. One of the most popular dishes with wild nettle is, of course, nettle soup. Very similar to lettuce soup in preparation, nettle soup is a powerful detox for the liver and skin, besides having a very delicious taste.
Nettle seeds fried in a pan (without oil!) have a very pleasant nutty aroma! Roasted nettle seeds can flavor a lot of culinary dishes. The seeds from nettle (Urtica sp.) are harvested from August to October. You can use them to make a wild pesto by replacing the pine buds with them or make a delicious veggie and wild Nutella, by mixing the roasted nettle seeds with raw honey and cacao if you wish. Delicious!
Sorrel is one of the most delicious edible wild plants that you can forage in the month of April, the mid-Spring season. The taste of sorrel is naturally sour and fresh and it can be used both in salads as well as soups as a side dish in many food combinations. It is quite easy to identify in the wild and it is filled with Vitamin A and C.
4. Garlic Mustard
Garlic mustard is one of the oldest European spices for flavoring food. Archaeological excavations in the Baltic Sea area (Denmark and Germany) date the first culinary use of garlic mustard at least 6000 years ago. The leaves, flowers, fruits in the form of mini-pods, seeds, as well the white roots that taste similar to horseradish, are all edible. Its aroma is a balanced mixture of tastes of garlic and mustard. Black garlic mustard seeds are used as a spice in many places around the world.
You can chop the garlic mustard leaves and add them to a wild salad, to sandwiches, or even pates and pastes, such as pesto. It is better to mix garlic mustard with other greens in a proportion of 1/4, for a balanced taste. This wild edible has an intense aroma that requires some habit to get used to it. You can also use its flowers as a decoration element on the plate.
How to Cook Garlic Mustard Plant
Here is a simple recipe with garlic mustard.
- Mix 100 g of cottage cheese with a good handful of finely chopped garlic mustard leaves.
- You can also add some of its flowers and tender pods with green seeds.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, sour cream, and olive oil.
- Use it as a spread or on top of boiled potatoes.
Dandelion is one of the most popular edible wild plants, and a great addition to any spring salad. Its leaves are especially detoxifying for the liver and delicious to taste. The easiest way to enjoy dandelion is in salads. Gather some dandelion leaves and a few flowers and wash them well. Add a few radish sprouts, red onion, and green garlic, and mix well. If you want a more hearty dandelion salad, add some fresh goat cheese too. Make a simple dressing with lemon juice, honey, and olive oil. Enjoy!
6. Cabbage Thistle
A less-known yet absolutely delicious edible wild plant is the cabbage thistle. Its young leaves, cleared of thorns, can be used raw in salads, or cooked just like spinach, in tart fillings, or in soups. The cold-pressed leaves make a delicious vitalizing juice, while the young leaves can be used in green smoothies. You can use the young cabbage thistle stems to replace asparagus in various dishes and cold press the seeds to extract a rich, delicious oil. The whole plant can be used in cooking, but pay great attention to removing the plants’ thorns first.
7. Hoary Cress
Meet the broccoli of the wild: the hoary cress. Another delicious edible wild plant you can forage yourself is this one right here. The leaves are edible in a salad or cooked. Before their full opening, its flowers are a broccoli alternative. In addition, this wild plant has amazing nutritional and medicinal properties for a healthy lifestyle. You can add the leaves and flowers to stir-fries, soups, or salads for more flavor. They are delicious!
8. Japanese Knotweed
Is a plant native to Japan, China, and Korea, but as a result of a conscious introduction, it has spread throughout Europe and other parts of the world. Japanese knotweed is the plant with the highest content of resveratrol, the same antioxidant substance that makes blue grapes so healthy.
The very young shoots that sprout in Spring and have a sour taste are particularly delicious. It is best to harvest this edible plant when it is about 20 cm tall. By its looks, it is very similar to green asparagus and tastes a lot like rhubarb. Its Spring shoots are suitable for compotes, cakes, or jams. They can also be used for spicy chutneys, for stir fry vegetables, or as a crunchy addition to salads. You can also eat them raw with a little salt after peeling them. Absolutely fabulous!
9. Common Hop
Hop is not just for beer making, but also an amazing edible wild plant. Its edible parts are the shoots, flowers, leaves, and roots. It can be eaten raw, but pay attention because the leaves are rough and the stems are covered with hairs. You can also juice it to make the most of its unaltered healing properties. Starting with September, you can harvest the young roots and bake, fry, or boil them together with other edible roots.
Young hop shoots have a fine resinous taste making them a culinary delicacy also known as hop asparagus. When cooked only briefly, either steamed (the extremely young/delicate vines) or boiled in salted water (2-4 minutes) they make an amazing side dish. You can also add them to a salad, together with the leaves and the stems. This is indeed one of the most delicious edible wild plants you can harvest in the wild.
Edible Plants Guides & Resources:
Read Also: 9 Most Delicious Wild Mushrooms You Can Forage Yourself
Wild edible plants carry the energy of nature and are some of the healthiest foods in the world. They are also free. If you’ve enjoyed learning about the most delicious edible wild plants and how to cook them at home, please share this article so more people can use this information. Safe foraging.
Photos Source: Plante salbatice comestibile