Wild Berries

We interrupt the regularly scheduled post to bring you…huckleberries! Regardless of where you live, some foraged fruit or vegetable likely draws people out of their gardens and into the wild. But if you live in the high country, you know that regularly scheduled activities get shunted aside when hucks ripen on mountain slopes. As the season progresses, the most accessible berries are snatched up by other omnivores—human and bear—so pickers must go farther and higher to find these treasures. In my case, a 3-mile roundtrip hike and 3-hour picking session yielded about half a gallon of tiny purple gems.

With that much effort and time involved, I tend to hoard my huckleberries and dole them out in small doses—no small feat when I will happily eat a cup of fruit on one bowl of granola and yogurt. So you won’t find me rolling the results of a day of foraging into a pie or jars of jam. Instead, I prefer recipes that highlight smaller amounts of fruit, whether for breakfast or for dessert.
Learn to make Crepes with Wild Berries and Lemon Cheese and Rhubarb–Huckleberry Galette

Garden-Fresh Favorites

When summer hits and the garden is in full swing, I spend a lot of time processing its bounty to enjoy later. But the greatest joy of growing your own garden is immediately eating the sun-warmed peppers, crisp snap beans, and brilliant orange carrots you’ve produced. No matter how well you preserve a fruit or vegetable, it’s still a substitute for fresh-from-the-plant flavor.

Twice as Tasty made the front page of The Daily Inter Lake’s Montana Life section this week. The delicious photos and story by Brenda Ahearn focus on a recent workshop on Indian spices.

Fortunately, eating freshly harvested produce is easy. A walk through the garden has you snapping off a peapod here, grabbing a cherry tomato there, and collecting a handful of raspberries that you pop straight into your mouth. But grazing is just the beginning. This blog already offers some of my favorite fresh recipes for asparagus, corn, and zucchini and tomatoes. The key to making these fresh-tasting dishes is knowing when and how to pluck the choicest edibles.
Read more about enjoying garden-fresh favorites

Frittata

If you like quiche but hate to roll crust, or if you crave omelets but your homemade ones always turn into scrambled eggs, you really should be making frittata. This crustless quiche or open-face omelet is just as adaptable to the ingredients you have on hand as its more finicky cousins. You can eat it at any meal and serve it as a tapa or a main. What’s not to like?

My first memorable frittatas were made by a Spanish woman running a hostel in Greece, so in my mind a frittata must have potatoes and the best additional ingredients are tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, basil, and feta. I include the potatoes in my base recipe, but you can easily drop them and highlight other ingredients—or just use whatever’s in your fridge. Before summer crops explode, I tend to fill my frittatas with baby chard or spinach and herbs.
Learn to make Basic Potato Frittata and Spinach and Herb Frittata

Freezing Herbs

If I could have only one garden, it would teem with herbs. Many of these easy-to-grow plants survive any climate or soil and are among the first shoots to appear each spring. Most are either perennials that return without fail or annuals that self-seed so readily one seed packet produces a perpetual crop. Herbs thrive on usage; the more you snip and pluck, the happier they become. Although the plants are rarely showy, a garden that contains herbs and edible flowers such as nasturtium, calendula, and viola is as delicious to look at as it is to harvest from.

Although fresh is best, herbs are easily saved for meals year-round. A little goes a long way, so even a couple of balcony pots will likely produce enough for use throughout the season. Many herb savers dehydrate their harvest, but some herbs, like chives, taste better when frozen.
Learn how to freeze chives and make Herb Butter