Tis the season for morels. I must confess that I am not crazy about them. I haven’t been able to decide if the morels bring out the worst in people or if they just bring out the worst people. I’ve gotten to where I might hit the woods for some once or twice, but at the first sign of another hunter, I’m over it.
The season has begun early this year, and I find myself on the hunt alone. We have become empty nesters, and my husband is for all intents and purposes out of commission this season. I honestly don’t care to deal with the ego that comes with morels, so while I might take a quick peek at one or two of our spots, I think I‘m going to sit this one out. Not that I’m not going to still take the occasional stroll through the woods mind you, I’m just going to focus on other edibles and wait for the trolls to go back under their bridges so I can hunt for other goodies.
I spent about 20 minutes the other night and collected a whole mess of stinging nettle, dandelion greens, cleavers, wild garlic and onions. All of those grow in such profusion you can pick several meals worth in no time flat and you don’t once have to hear machismo.
I realize I have yet to write up any of those greens before, so I am somewhat remiss. I’ll get to it. I have written up “Dirty Eggs” with chanterelles before, but the thing about dirty eggs is that it is different every time you make it. Very versatile dish, honestly.
The first thing I did was snip the leaves off the nettle. I managed to harvest and prepare the whole mess with only a quick sting to my lip when I was sniffing the leaves. It smells somewhat like basil and something else and I can never quite put my finger on what. I had a lot too cook, so I put it in water to cover and add a ¼ c of salt or so. Simmered until the leaves changed color, then I put on ice or it becomes slime.
Then I washed up some wild garlic and chopped it small.
The dandelion greens and cleavers got washed and picked through pretty well. I harvested both in Hemlock territory and that is not something you want mixed in with your food.
While I was doing all of this, I took two chanterelle pucks out of the freezer and thawed them in the microwave. You can read about those HERE.
Once all of my ingredients were roughly the same size and my nettle had cooled enough that I could chop it, I heated a cast iron skillet to temperature, then I sautéed everything in a tablespoon or so of olive oil.
I cannot stress enough- DO NOT COOK TOO MUCH!! The chants get chewy and the greens become slime. Easy does it.
Once everything was about ¾ of the way cooked, I added six eggs. This is when you REALLY have to exercise patience.
If you stir too much, it gets a strange slimy texture. It works better if you quickly break up the egg yokes and let it sit a few minutes. Then stir it again, but only a quickly.
Every few minutes give it a quick stir so the eggs cook into lovely scrambles around the other ingredients. When the eggs are fully cooked and the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout, its done.
I wouldn’t add salt until after you taste it. The nettle was blanched in salt water, so it brings a lot of it through.
It was very, very good. If you are struggling with how to add foraged or wild edibles into your diet, or get your kids to eat it, this is an excellent segue into foraged meals. If you happen to have chickens, this entire meal could cost nothing more than sweat equity.
Please let me know if you try it!