Along the Grapevine

A Backyard Forager’s Pasta Dish

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Pasta is a great dish when you want to be creative, or even when you don’t have much in the pantry. With a few pickings from our garden, lawn and fields, I decided to make a vegan, gluten-free pasta dish using Jerusalem artichokes, wild strawberry leaves and chives. I was pleased with the effect of the artichokes and lemon juice in creating a creamy white sauce with no dairy products. As for the greens, you could use any of your edible wilds or not so wilds, but I wanted to try the wild strawberry. I learned that all parts of wild or cultivated strawberries are edible, and since our wild plants are plentiful and don’t give much fruit, why not use the greens instead. For more information about identifying, using and finding resources, check out this site.

If you do decide to use strawberry leaves, there are a couple of points worth mentioning. First, as always, be sure you have identified the greens properly. They are pretty easy to spot, but be sure you know what you are picking. The other point is that, while these leaves are most often used in making tea, they should be eaten only when dried, or very fresh. Once the wilting process has begun, they enter a stage of non-edibility until they are perfectly dried. So that is something to bear in mind if using them.

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Most articles I read said that they are edible, but not really tasty. I beg to differ. They are mild, with a pleasant citrusy after taste. Not remarkable, but certainly nutritious, especially rich in vitamin C. If not sure, sample a leaf or two. This is always a good idea anyway to make sure you don’t have any problem if it is new to you, and you can decide if you want to add them to your dinner.

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Jerusalem Artichoke Sauce

1/2 pound Jerusalem artichokes, boiled and peeled

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup blanched almonds

1/2 cup almond milk

1/4 tsp salt

2 cloves garlic

Puree all the ingredients in a food processor. Heat the sauce gently, without boiling. Add some chopped chives and strawberry leaves, and then mix in half a pound of cooked, hot pasta (I used quinoa spaghetti). The flavour of the artichokes worked very well as a cheese substitute, but feel free to add cheese, or anything else, to suit your own taste.

 

Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

6 thoughts on “A Backyard Forager’s Pasta Dish

  1. Well, I had no idea we could eat strawberry leaves, Hilda! Thanks so much for this information and a very interesting post!😀

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  2. Great info on strawberry leaves Hilda. And what a great way ok make a vegan sauce🙂.

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  3. Thanks. It makes it more interesting to create new recipes if I impose any restriction – and it means more people can use it.

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  4. I learn so much from you, Hilda. Thank you! And please tell me more about quinoa spaghetti? I am intrigued!

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  5. Thanks, Patty. I didn’t make the quinoa spaghetti myself. I often buy gluten-free pastas when I see them because I just like the variety of flavours. Also, I like to keep some on hand in case my gluten-free friends or relatives drop by. I can’t remember where I bought them, but I think if you look in good grocery stores, you will find them. Unfortunately, I don’t have the package anymore, so I can’t even tell you what brand they were. Hope you find some and give them a try.

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  6. Thank you Hilda for these information… you’re great!

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