Tasty conifers

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

In San Francisco this weekend dining at a swanky restaurant (at the SF Museum of Modern Art) where I was surprised to find that 'greens' in this case means 'fresh tips of douglas fir'. Pretty tasty, actually.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Hmm, I read in a book about foraging that they are edible, might have to try it. The book says they should be the new soft needles.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

I can't believe that I finally get away for a while to recuperate, and Wee is in the neighborhood. We will be arriving in the greater SF Bay area this evening.

Shouting out from Plymouth, CA (in Amador County) in the wine country! Mrs. VV and I actually had a great dinner last night at Taste, a highly regarded restaurant out here. Excellent fig dessert.

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Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Are y'all going on any Botanizing expeditions? I didn't, the few times I have been there. I do recall how impressed I was that Jade Plants are an outdoor shrub there, growing in ordinary yards.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Don't want to steal Wee's thunder and thread...

We have been "botanizing" in a sense: observing, sampling, and procuring an excessive amount of Vitis vinifera which thrives in the Mediterranean climate here in the Sierra Foothills AVA.

I expect to see more than a bit of plant life around San Francisco, where Mrs. VV has to go to class for 3 days - and I had my arm twisted to come along for the ride. Golden Gate Park is high on my first "must see" places.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

We enjoyed the arboretum at Golden Gate park. I tried to take a picture of an immense Araucaria with amazingly perfect parallel branching but alas my cell phone camera talents failed me. And of course lusted after many beautiful Cupressus macrocarpa specimens. Saw lots of other weird & wonderful stuff which doesn't have a chance of surviving at my house. Unfortunately, back to work (& reality) in St Louis this morning.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

That GG is still standing is the only impression I ever had of it. The area is fun tho.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

My brother lives across the street from Golden Gate Park on the south side. We are visiting with him tomorrow.

We just found out the company that Mrs. VV is in training with - is taking us to dinner at Perbacco tonight. We were told that it was a nice menu.

We noticed this (second dessert listing). Wee and I shall have to compare notes...

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

'Candied' douglas fir - I think 'gluten-free douglas fir' will be next!
I found a picture of my dish on the web.
I even have the recipe.
I'll leave to others to educate the chefs re: all conifers aren't necessarily pines ...

Recipe:

Appetizer
Carrot, Sour Curd, Pickled Pine
By Matt Orlando

Carrot, Sour Curd, Pickled Pine

An exclusive vegetarian recipe shared by chef Matt Orlando, one of the speakers at 2015 Food on the Edge Event in Galway.

Ingredients

Ingredients
Carrot
12, small

Yogurt
100 g

Pine shoots
16 (Douglas Fir)

Apple vinegar
50 g

Nasturtium
12 petals and 16 individual leaves

Buttermilk
300 g

Butter
130 g, unsalted

Carrot juice
500 g

Lemon juice
1 lemon

Info box

Recipe category
Appetizer

Recipe yield
1

Preparation


Pickled Pine
Place young pine shoots in apple vinegar overnight

Carrots
Peel carrots and steam until fork-‐tender.

Dry carrots in a dehydrator at 60C for 1 hours.

While carrots are drying, reduce carrot juice in a saucepan to 175 g and make sour curd and brown butter (see below).

Also while carrots are drying, in a saucepan, reduce buttermilk to 75 g and reserve.

Reserve 75 g of reduced carrot juice for buttermilk sauce.

Warm 100 g of reduced carrot juice in a small saucepan over low heat and emulsify 30 g of butter into the juice.

Add dried carrots and slowly glaze until carrots are shiny.

Hold warm in pan while finishing the buttermilk sauce.

Sour Curd
Heat yogurt in a pot until 85C.

After it splits, drain off liquid for 1 hour.

Reserve solids (curd) and liquid.

Brown Butter
Place 100 g butter in small saucepan and cook until golden brown.

Strain off burnt butter solids and reserve melted butter at room temperature.

Buttermilk Sauce
Take 75 g of reserved reduced buttermilk and mix with 75 g of reserved reduced carrot juice in a saucepan over low heat.

When warm, stir in 25 g of brown butter.

Season with 2 g of lemon juice and 8 g of liquid reserved from strained curd.

Adjust with salt to taste.

To Serve
Place 3 warm glazed carrots on each plate.

Place 25 g of the curd evenly over the carrots.

Place 4 pickled pine shoots on top of carrots.

Garnish with 4 flower petals and 4 leaves.

Spoon as much sauce as you desire next to the carrots.

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