Many many wild things can be frittered! Up until this year, my favorite probably would have been black locust blossoms. However, with so many new choices as of this year, I might have to pick a favorite for every occasion. On a couple of my last Wild Apprentice Days, my lovely apprentices and I created some fantastic fried goodness. Don't worry, though, these weren't deep fried, and contain lots of healthy ingredients. We experimented with dandelion fritters and mixed wild greens fritters.
The main difference between the two fritters is that the dandelion fritters have flour and cornmeal, and the wild greens fritters don't. We used gluten free rice flour, but you can use your fave flour. If you use something different or spice it up to your liking some other way, make sure you let me know what you did and how it worked. We chose rice flour and blue cornmeal for fun, and well, because it was what I had, and this is supposed to be easy.
Let's start with the dandelion fritters. The first step is to pick the dandelions. Pick them while they're young and fresh looking, preferably in the morning after the dew has dried and before the hot sun has left them looking wilted. It'll be easier to process later if you just pick the flower heads and leave the stem.
Now the recipe:
⅓ c flour of choice (we used rice flour)
⅓ c cornmeal (we used blue)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp (or to taste) bee balm salt or salt and savory herbs
⅔ c milk of choice (we used coconut)
1 ½ c dandelion flowers
Butter or olive oil
Mix dry ingredients together (except dandelions).
In separate bowl, beat egg, and mix in milk.
Mix dry and wet ingredients. Dip and coat flowers in batter.
Melt butter or warm oil in pan on medium heat. You can do a light layer to saute, or more to deep fry. (We sauteed in a mix of butter and oil.)
Cook until they start to brown. Flip and brown other side until crisp.
Drain on a plate lined with a paper towel. Enjoy while warm.
MIXED WILD GREENS FRITTERS
Makes 5 medium fritters. Recipe may be divided in half. Other wild greens may be added or substituted. Garlic salt or salt and garlic powder can be substituted for the ramp salt.
2 c Purple Dead Nettle leaf, flower, and stem (Lamium purpureum)
4 Wild Onion tops and bulbs (Allium vineale)
¼ c Bee Balm leaf (Monarda didyma)
¼ c Sochan leaf (cutleaf coneflower) (Rudbeckia laciniata)
½ c Violet leaf (Viola species)
1 tsp Ramp Salt
2 TBsp butter
Chop plant ingredients fine. If plants are wet, braise lightly.
Mix leaves and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Beat eggs. Mix into plant material so everything is coated with eggs.
Heat butter in pan over medium heat. Form into patties and put in pan.
Heat for about 4 minutes until patties hold together and are lightly browned on bottom.
Flip. Cook for about 4 more minutes until lightly browned on bottom and cooked through.
Garnish with a few sprigs of dead nettle and violet flowers.
Possible condiments: fire cider/hot sauce, sour cream, salsa
I hope you'll try these and create recipes of your own. If you do, please let me know how it turns out, in the comments.
Founder of the WANDER (Wild Artemisia Nature Discovery, Empowerment, and Reconnection) School, Botanist, Herbalist, & Professional Forager, Abby Artemisia, lives in rural Appalachian North Carolina. She learned about plants playing in the Midwestern woods of Ohio, working on organic farms, an herbal apprenticeship, a bachelor's degree in Botany from Miami University, and running her own tea business. She teaches about plant identification, native plants, and working with plants for food and medicine throughout the country. Her mission is offering nature and herbal education to create healing through connection with the natural world and each other. She is the author of The Forager's Wild Edible and Herbal Plant Cards and The Herbal Handbook for Homesteaders. She is the host of the podcast Wander, Forage, and Wildcraft, founder of The WANDER School, and co-founder of The Sassafras School of Appalachian Plantcraft.