Saturday, August 1, 2009
West Coast Wild Tea with Slug and Blackberry Salad
100% wild foods recipe
by Emily van Lidth de Jeude
Toasted Slug and Blackberry Salad
Gather an equal number of each of the following:
---dusky arion slugs, de-slimed and cleaned
---freshly-picked ripe blackberries
---dried shore pine needles
Pair the slugs with the blackberries, skewering each pair with a dried needle, and lay them gently on a roasting pan. Toast for 5-10 minutes, until blackberries begin to bubble, and slugs begin to brown.
Prepare fresh wild greens:
---young tender ribwort leaves
---a few young tender sheep sorrel leaves
---a few wood sorrel leaves
Lay the blackberry-slug skewers on the salad, and serve with tea.
Burdock and Douglas Fir Tea
Boil water for tea and, as it heats, grind about 2 or 3 tablespoons of roasted burdock root and ½ tablespoon of dried Douglas Fir needles as you might grind coffee beans. Put this into either a French press coffee pot or a paper or cloth tea bag, and pour hot water over. Allow to steep for about ten minutes.
Serve hot, either plain or with sweet, ripe blackberry juice.
*How to Kill and De-Slime Slugs*
As requested in the comments by Sarah, here is the method:
Allow the slugs to live in a bucket or terrarium full of healthy wild greens for at least a few days (we leave them for about a week). This ensures they've excreted any potential poisons they may have ingested prior to being harvested, and fed up on healthy greens.
Bring fresh (clean) seawater to boil in a pot, and drop the slugs in. They will die quite quickly, and their slime will begin to loosen. When the water is very slimy, scoop out the slugs, replace with fresh seawater, and boil again. Repeat the process until no more slime comes off.
Scoop out the slugs, let them cool on a cutting board, and gut them as described in the "How to Eat Slugs" post, (December 2, 2009).
The reason I used salt water for this recipe instead of vinegar as most people do was because this was a !00% wild food recipe, and I don't make wild vinegar! So seawater had to suffice, and in the end we decided it's tastier, too. It gives the slugs a bit more calamari appeal, actually!