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Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer's Market, with 88 Recipes [Hardcover]

Tama Matsuoka Wong , Eddy Leroux , Daniel Boulud
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 12 2012
Forage for wild food and discover delicious edible plants growing everywhere—including your backyard—and how best to prepare them to highlight their unique flavors, with this seasonally organized field guide and cookbook.

While others have identified in the past which wild plants are edible, Tama Matsuoka Wong, the forager for Daniel, the flagship restaurant of renowned chef Daniel Boulud, and Eddy Leroux, its chef de cuisine, go two steps further, setting the bar much higher. First, they have carefully selected only the wild plants that are worth seeking out for their fabulous flavors. Second, after much taste-testing, they have figured out the best way to prepare each ingredient—a key in getting to know these exciting new foods. In Foraged Flavor, they reveal their seventy-one favorite plants, which are easy to identify and can be harvested sustainably across the country (including at farmers’ markets for those without access to nearby fields and forests). Tama helps readers uncover bright lemony oxalis growing in patches of their lawn or creeping jenny, with its unmistakable leaves and delicate green-pea flavor. Eddy then gives simple recipes to showcase the foraged finds, including Cardamine Cress with Fennel and Orange Vinaigrette; Braised Beef, Dandelion Leaves, and Clear Noodles; and Purslane Eggplant Caponata.

With twenty-five botanical illustrations, fifty color photographs of the plants, and tons of field- and kitchen-tested know-how, Foraged Flavor will be an indispensable guide for cooking enthusiasts.

Frequently Bought Together

Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer's Market, with 88 Recipes + The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from around the World
Price For Both: CDN$ 46.99

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“Much more than a field guide with recipes, this is a fascinating introduction to the nearly lost art of foraging for wild edibles. Tama and Eddy are truly passionate in their approach; their enthusiasm is inspiring.”
David Tanis, author of Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys
“I love any book that brings more plants into our world, and wild plants have the most special place in the kitchen. The combination of sound information and delectable recipes couldn’t be more enticing. A lovely book!”
Deborah Madison, author of Local Flavors
“This is a charming and informative introduction to harvesting and cooking with wild plants in a sustainable and environmentally sensitive way. Eddy Leroux’s interesting and delicious recipes alone make the book a must-have.”
Daniel Patterson, chef-owner of Coi
“Foraged Flavor is the perfect guide for the home cook to the bounty and beauty of what’s growing right there in your own backyard. Tama shares her enthusiasm for foraging and turns you on to harvesting from the ‘wild’ and Eddy's recipes turn the ‘wilderness’ into pure deliciousness.”
Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer, authors of Canal House Cooking

Foraged Flavor isn’t just a collection of gourmet recipes for weeds and other unappreciated plants. . . .  [It] matches the distinctive, variously nutty, tart, sour, hot, minty tastes of these wild herbs—for a weed, after all, is just a plant we don’t like—with their soul mates (ginger or mustard or pine nuts).”
—The New York Times
Foraged Flavor is an unusual book in that it’s a joint effort between a forager (Wong) and a chef (Leroux), so in may ways, it provides the best of both worlds: information on the plants plus recipes that provide a sophisticated, culinary usage that go beyond teas and salads.”
“The book could be called Foraged Urban Flavor as I count only a handful of plants in the book that I can’t find growing wild in my own garden or within a short distance. . . . The ingredients are easy to source (even in my inner-city neighborhood) and the recipes are simple enough that someone like me could follow them.”
“In a few hours a truck would arrive at Ms. Wong’s house in rural Hunterdon County [New Jersey] to pick up bags of deadnettle, creeping jenny, chickweed, and other plants most people would step over or pull out. They will be delivered to Daniel, the three-Michelin-star Manhattan flagship of chef Daniel Boulud. Ms. Wong is the restaurant’s forager, relied on to help keep the menu diverse, unique, and flavorful. ‘With Tama, the level of trust is absolute,’ said Daniel’s chef de cuisine Eddy Leroux . . . The recipes [in Foraged Flavor] are largely simplified versions of dishes on the Daniel menu, such a pan-roasted wild turbot with pine needles and spring wild herb ravioli with Gorgonzola, which includes deadnettle, wild garlic mustard, chickweed, and dandelion.”
—The Wall Street Journal

About the Author

TAMA MATSUOKA WONG is the forager for restaurant Daniel in New York City and enjoys relationships with organizations that include the Audubon Society and Slow Food. After more than twenty-five years as a financial services lawyer, she launched Meadows and More, LLC, to connect experts in the field of meadow restoration, botany, and wildlife with people in the community. In 2007, she was named Steward of the Year by the New Jersey Forest Service.
EDDY LEROUX is the chef de cuisine at Daniel, the award-winning flagship restaurant of celebrity chef Daniel Boulud.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Concept - Execution Could be Better July 31 2012
By A. Soares TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Recipes look great and I plan to try some out at a future date. However, IF you are buying this book, be sure to have a secondary source for plant identification. "Pictures" are more like sketches and are not at all useful for plant identification (This becomes an issue if you are going to actually eat the fruits of your foraging). For a book of this nature, I expected to see full colour photographs of every plant included. Moreover, although the author discusses the poisonous nature of Queen Anne's Lace lookalikes (and to be fair recommends only foraging the "seeds" from "nests" which lookalikes do not generate), I would have preferred it to be excluded given that, even in small amounts, Poison Hemlock can cause death and Giant Hogweed (admittedly taller than Queen Anne's lace though if you have no background you may not know this) can, I believe, cause blindness via touch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reconsideration of food Aug. 18 2012
As someone with admittedly pedestrian tastes, this book was an unusual one for me to read. Yet as content as I am to stay within a fairly narrow range of favourite foods, even for me these start to revolve like the backdrop in a Flintstones cartoon. As North Americans have generally become accustomed to getting our food from major supermarket chains, either as standard ingredients for making dinner ourselves, or as precooked MREs (meals ready to eat) for a competitive lifestyle. This book proceeds from a reconsideration of the palette of ingredients that is available.

As a kid I remember reading camping type books that listed plants that you could eat to survive while lost in the woods, or plants that taste similar to, and can substitute, other flavours. This book is not along those lines at all. Instead, the author has considered wild plants that are relatively common that provide unique tastes, and provides information on the season when these tastes are available. Also noted is that many of these are not new, but rather lost from the past as our diets have become homogenized.

This information is accompanied by recipes that provide a starting point for exploring how to introduce these elements into your cooking, either as herbs or as part of the entre itself. While based upon the work of a famous chef, the recipes are not the least bit intimidating and are clearly hoped to be useful for regular meals, not just special occasions.

These two elements are tied together with the personal narrative of the authors as to how they became involved with this venture, which makes it a much more compelling read than a simple catalogue of plants that you have never thought of as food, and what you might do with them if you got interested.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but could be better July 12 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I liked this book but there is room for improvement. The book has nice full color photos of some of the foraged plants discussed. It would be better to have photos of them all as the sketches just don't cut it for me at least. Also I'm partial to full color photos of the end result of all these professionally prepared recipes as there are none.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to local foraging with simple food gathering and easy recipes June 14 2012
By Margaret Thompson - Published on
This is not a book for far-flung forest hermits. This is a book for the average person, with access to an average yard or park. This means you won't need to lace up your hiking boots and strap on your back pack to grab some ingredients for your next local culinary masterpiece.

A great plus is that this isn't an exhaustive guide to all edible wild plants -- it's not a Peterson's guide. Rather, it's a selection that tries to be balanced in flavor, texture, and use. It's more of a kitchen companion than a backpacker's foraging guide. You can go out and find many of the ingredients in a matter of minutes.

Additionally -- and perhaps most importantly -- the recipes are easy. Coupled with the easy-to-find nature of the foods, this makes for a relatively painless introduction to food foraging.

Highly recommended for people who are just getting into local foraging.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Delicious June 26 2012
By cmryslno - Published on
I foraged lambsquarters from my farm (most farmers know it well as a weed but not as a part of dinner) and chose to make the Lambsquarters Rigatoni Casserole from the book. Even though the recipe insisted there would be enough pasta for the dish, I had my doubts. After I cooked and blended the lambsquarters, I was worried it was too watery and would never firm up but it turned out perfect! I had it as a side dish for dinner with my boyfriend, who also thought it was great and said I should make it again. It was filling, satisfying and tasted better than I could imagine. It was an easy recipe that came together quickly with a few simple ingredients and a huge amount of flavor. I look forward to cooking more from this book.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious recipes and easy to follow June 16 2012
By mrmer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What an excellent idea for a cookbook. When my mother and I used to go for walks, we would literally find two or three wild grown herb or greens within a few yards of our home. If we ventured further, we'd find more. If I'd had this book then, I'd have recognized many more. Glad that I have this now that my own daughter and I can go foraging! The recipes in this book are easy to follow and really tasty. Also, if you don't have time to forage- the recipes are excellent on their own. I'm so thankful for this book!!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionaly good book. Topnotch for any experamental home or professional chef. Sept. 9 2012
By BLoiacono - Published on
I've had "Foraged Flavor" for the summer and am now using it even more in the fall. There is so much to learn in just reading about one of the many plants mentioned through the chapters. Since buying the book im constantly recognizing local plants. Whether they be in the woods while hiking, or noticing the overgrowth of Sumac buds on the Long Island Expressway service road. The first recipe I played around with was the garlic mustard eggplant dip. Delicious. With the information given about lambs quarters and it being used in a lamb meatball, I've been using it weekly in meals. Finding it at most local farmers markets. The Shiso Tabbouleh (pg. 172) is without a doubt one of the most interesting and tasteful things I've ever made personally. Not only because of the facts shown about the Shiso itself, but also because the technique in cooking the cous cous.......Brilliant! A must have...enjoy!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intersting book Nov. 11 2012
By vuw - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an interesting book. It is well written and the illustrations are lovely. I look at the weeds in my yard differently now.
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