If you’re thinking the tacos above look as though they’ve been sprinkled with weeds just pried from a garden, you are correct. And no, I haven’t lost my mind! A few years ago, I read an intriguing article on foraging in the wild and was surprised to learn how many edible plants we overlook. My favorite, and pictured above, is the wildly abundant Yellow Wood Sorrel. Also known as Oxalis Stricta, it has heart shaped leaves that grow in sets of three with tiny yellow flowers, and tastes deliciously sour and lemony. If you’ve never noticed it before, you’ll see it everywhere now that you’ve read this.
I encourage you to pluck a few leaves and pop them in your mouth the next time you’re poking around outside, then gather a handful and toss onto grilled veggies or salad. Here, I’ve chopped up the leaves and flowers (the tender upper stems can be eaten as well, though the woody lowers should be discarded) along with chives, parsley and tarragon for the lemon herb crema. If you can’t find any in your flower beds or on a woodland walk, you can substitute the cultivated sorrel leaves that are often available at farmers’ markets. Though the wild and the cultivated are unrelated and look quite different, they share a similar flavor profile.
If my post has piqued your interest in foraging (did you know you can eat the tender leaves of day lilies?*), this book is a wonderful guide on identifying and preparing hundreds of wild plants. After reading it, you can channel your inner Katniss Everdeen (whose name, by the way, comes from an edible wild plant). Braids and bow and arrow optional.
Grilled Swordfish Tacos with Lemon Herb and Wild Wood Sorrel Crema
1/2 cup Vegenaise or best quality mayonnaise
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh tarragon leaves
2 tablespoons fresh chives
1 tablespoon wood sorrel leaves and flowers, plus more for garnish
4 8-ounce swordfish steaks, about one inch thick
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
assortment of corn and flour tortillas
2 lemons, cut into wedges
Place Vegenaise and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Finely chop parsley, tarragon, chives, and sorrel and stir into bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Brush swordfish steaks with canola oil and season well with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat grill to high and cook swordfish for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, just until fish is cooked through (it will be opaque in center). Be careful to not overcook. Place on a platter and tent with foil.
Reduce heat and place tortillas on grill, warming them for a few seconds on each side. Remove to a plate and keep warm.
Break fish into large chunks using two forks. Assemble tacos with warmed tortillas, fish, and crema. Garnish with reserved sorrel leaves and flowers.
Yes, we are still eating off of paper plates – two more weeks until the kitchen construction is complete!