The Wild Table—Seasonal Foraged Food and Recipes by Connie Green includes recipes like Cuitlacoche (Huitlacoche or Corn Smut); Cuitlacoche and Squash Blossom Quesadilla; Foil-Wrapped Matsutake with White Soy and Ginger; and Stir-fried Dandelion Greens with Duck Fat and Garlic.
by Connie Green and Sarah Scott
In the last decade, the celebration of organic foods, farmer's markets, and artisanal producers has dovetailed with a renewed passion for wild food delicacies. On the forefront of this movement is longtime "huntress" Connie Green, who sells her gathered goods across the country and to Napa Valley's finest chefs including Thomas Keller and Michael Mina.
Taking readers into the woods and on the roadside, The Wild Table features more than forty wild mushrooms, plants, and berries—from prize morels and chanterelles to fennel, ramps, winter greens, huckleberries, and more. Grouped by season (including Indian Summer), the delectable recipes by chef Sarah Scott include Hedgehog Mushroom and Carmelized Onion Tart, Bacon-Wrapped Duck Stuffed Morels, Cepe (Porcini) Flan, Ramp and Shrimp Grits, Grilled Quail with Pancetta and Polenta, homemade Mulberry Ice Cream and Persimmon Praline Trifle.
The Wild Table provides step-by-step cooking techniques, explains how to find and prepare each ingredient, and features several signature dishes from noted chefs. Each section also features essays from Connie Green that capture the essence of each ingredient, along with stories of foraging in the natural world.
Connie Green got an introduction to foraging from her Estonian husband nearly 30 years ago, "whose life was saved by his family's foraging skills" during the days following World War II. Her interest in wild foods was also sparked, in part, by foragers like Euell Gibbons, author of best-selling 1960s books like Stalking the Wild Asparagus. Green began gathering mushrooms and bringing them to local chefs, starting her own business, The Wine Forest Wild Mushrooms. Her early customers included Jeremiah Tower, Patricia Unterman and Judy Rogers followed by other top chefs like Bradley Ogden, Cindy Pawlcyn and Hiro Sone. Traci Des Jardins and Gary Danko also became customers along with Thomas Keller, who notes in a forward to The Wild Table that Green was one of the first purveyors supplying his French Laundry. "She quickly earned the nickname, 'The Mushroom Lady.'"
Napa Valley chef Sarah Scott was executive chef at the Robert Mondavi Winery from 1993 to 2006, and has worked alongside chefs like Alice Waters, Charlie Trotter and Daniel Boulud as well as Michelin-starred chefs from France as part of the Great Chefs Program. Now a chef and culinary consultant, Scott works with wineries, and corporate and private clients to create menus, recipes and wine pairings.
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This page created November 2010
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