Monday, March 23, 2015

works in progress (illustrated recipes)

You may remember that I have been commissioned this year by the Japan Times ST to create four sets of illustrated recipes --one for each season. I chose to feature lily bulbs in the winter set of recipes, which was published in January.

The deadline for the spring set is fast approaching, and after having been sick and unmotivated for a couple weeks, I'm glad to say that I'm finally back at work. Here's a sneak peak at two of my works-in-progress in a 4-recipe set featuring edible wild plants (some people call them weeds!).

All the "weeds" used in this set of recipes grow wild in my back yard, which-- being far enough from heavily-traveled roads, untouched by artificial chemicals, and unclaimed by dogs or cats-- I have little reason to hesitate using as my outdoor pantry.

When completed, the two cards shown here will describe recipes for (1) Butterbur Shoot (Petasites japonicus) and Miso Dip with Toast Points, and (2) Mugwort (Artemisia princeps) Cake served with Wild Mint Tea. The other two recipes in the set will be Dandelion Salad and Soba Noodles Tossed with Lemon-Garlic Fiddlehead Ferns and Field Horsetail. I'll post those pics next week.

Do you cook with wild plants? If so, please tell me what and how. Thanks!


  1. Love these! I love wild foods. Long ago when I was young and climbed mountains with friends we gathered yomogi (mugwort) and made dango and daifuku. At my childhood home the lawn was taken over by mint and violets. I loved picking it and cooking with it. I cried when the grass got long enough that the lawn could no longer go un-mowed. When I moved back to the States I lived in the woods and dug up burdock for my kinpira.

    Thanks for the happy memories. I haven't cooked with foraged food in a very long time.

  2. I don't really cook, my husband does, and he will be interested on this!

  3. How fun! Not much to cook with in our "city's" little backyard... but enough pots with mint, parsley, thyme, dill, chive, laurel and Toulouse violets to give a nice smell to numerous dishes...
    Have fun making these etegamis and meals and bravo for the concept.

  4. These etegami in progress look promising !
    Glad to hear you feel better !
    I like fresh mint tea, but never ate a green cake.
    Maybe not really wild plants, but I like to add herbs when cooking.