Preparing ‘Wild Bronx Salad’

Urban forager Steve "Wildman" Brill (Photo by Regina Cornwall via The Hunts Point Express)

Urban forager Steve “Wildman” Brill (Photo by Regina Cornwall via The Hunts Point Express)

On a recent rainy afternoon, two dozen urban foragers gathered to follow Steve “Wildman” Brill, a pioneer of the movement, as he checked out what was growing and edible in Hunts Point Riverside Park, reports Iyeisha Barrie in The Hunts Point Express.

There was a time nearly 30 years ago when Brill was arrested for plucking and eating a dandelion in Central Park. Now, the kind of urban foraging he does is welcomed in many neighborhoods, where residents relish the notion that much-beloved dishes can be made with what people traditionally have regarded as weeds.

A New York-based nonprofit, inClimate: Climate Change Solutions, Awareness and Action, sponsored the foraging tour. Lynn Cazabon, the creator of a local project called Uncultivated that grows wild plants in urban environments, organized a culinary demonstration that used some of the ingredients that had been foraged by the group.

Prepped with colorful bandanas around their heads, the group lined up in the kitchen. The first dish they prepared was “Wild Bronx Salad,” consisting of the wild greens that were found on the tour, organic grapes, toasted almonds and green apple.

The group’s favorite dish was the Beluga lentils with epazote, a short-lived perennial, otherwise known as wormseed, that is often found in Spanish cuisine. “Many people buy them in supermarkets without knowing they can be found right in the neighborhood,” said Regina Cornwell, founder of inClimate. Using a large saucepan to sauté the beans, Brill tied the epazote and bay leaves in cheesecloth, making a tea ball to infuse the dish.

Stick pudding was the wildlife dessert, consisting of black birch twigs, which added a wintergreen flavor to the tapioca pudding. The twigs were discarded once the flavor was absorbed into the pudding.

Check out the original article to find out when and when not to eat red clover.

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