You Could Be Growing Gourmet Food—On Accident

Want some inspiration for creating a foraged meal? These chefs can help.

by Rachael Dupree

Perhaps you’re accustomed to “eating your weeds”—adding dandelion greens or chickweed to a salad, plucking the fruit off a wild persimmon tree or digging up chicory roots for a bitter coffee substitute. Foraging for food is a practice that isn’t lost on the hobby farmer or rural dweller, but now it’s catching on among city-based chefs, as well.

Wild arugula!! Super peppery! @ft33dallas #ft33dallas

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According to an article that ran on DallasNews.coma handful of Texas chefs are making use of the free food available in the wild by hunting and gathering for the fare they serve in their restaurants. Some of the local specialties they forage for include:

  • wild mustard
  • nettles
  • wild carrot
  • mushrooms
  • prickly pear cactus
  • beautyberries

#americanbeautyberry and pear vinegar conserva finished with last year’s powdered @raelilifarm Roselle and fresh juniper #supersour #foragetexas

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A photo posted by Misti Norris (@mistinorris90) on

“”For me it’s a belief system; it’s a philosophy of trying to see what we can do [with what’s around us] because it’s more interesting that way,” says Matt McCallister, chef owner of FT33 Dallas. “I think it makes our cooking more creative.”

Oxalis #ft33garden super lemony

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McCallister is incorporating foraged foods, like chanterelle mushrooms and purslane, into his entree lineup, as are other Texan “tastemakers,” including Chef Misti Norris, who’s made anything from flavored butter to soda with wild plants, and Chef David Peña of Braindead Brewing, whose favorite finds include wild fruits he transforms into jams.

Each chef is careful to harvest safely and responsibly. To read more about their endeavors and to get inspiration for your own foraged meals, check out reporter Elise Pearson’s featured article.

It’s that time of the year..??

A photo posted by Misti Norris (@mistinorris90) on

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