Wildly Edible Inspiration

There’s a magic that happens in each person’s kitchen as earth, air, fire, water & ‘the mystery’ come together in unique ways.  -Sunny Savage

I am extremely lit up after bursts of inspirational waves from the wild foods goddess of Maui, Sunny Savage and the passionate local food enthusiasts at the Wild Foods potluck I attended last night.
Encouraged to create a wildly harvested-based dish, I was pushed to think further out of the box than I usually do.  I am very passionate about eating from the area & supoorting local farmers but this wild movement takes ‘eating local’ to the next level by using the surrounding fruitful landscape as ‘the market’ and backyards & trails as ‘the gardens’.  

Admittedly, I am a little rusty on identifying uniquely edible weeds so I am super thankful for Sunny’s new book, Wild Food Plants of Hawaii. It is a beautifully colorful guide to the exploration of the wild side of the Hawaiian Islands food sources. Its “…an invitation to unwrap the gifts of wild foods.”  She writes that with people eating this way more often, encouraging us to “eat at least one wild food everyday” we could diminish some of the hardships associated with high food costs & climate change related to food security issues.  This renaissance style of food sourcing is “free, nutritious & widely available… What’s not to love?”
This rainbow covered book has become my new edible guide & has sparked my creativity in the kitchen in the most primal of ways. When preparing for the potluck, I flipped through the pages to see what ingredients I could readily forage in my current area of Upcountry Maui. I discovered that you can safely eat Hibiscus flowers. This may be old news to some but it opened up a whole new culinary avenue for me. Now, there are different edible varieties of plants with the same name- I’ve made tea with the sweet red leafs and even steamed another varieties gelatinous green leafs but never yet the beautiful flower.

Now, I love a good culinary challenge… So I have the flower, what next??  The wheels started to turn and I thought that I would love to stuff it with some of the fermemented Maui Macadamia Nut Cheese I’ve been batching up. As my creation process evolved I decided to make a creamy pesto by using the cheese as a base & pulsing in chopped mac nuts, katuk, dandelion greens, lemon sorrel & mint with lemon zest,juice & seasoning with a little red alaea sea salt, turmeric & hawaiian chili pepper. Keeping it simple to really showcase the purity & vibrancy of these wild edibles.

The inspiration didn’t stop there of course- I spiralized market veggies: zuchinni, daikon, red beet, green radish, turnip & carrot and marinated with lemon, ginger, turmeric & salt.

 Then I assembled the vibrant flowers by place a spoonful of the wild creamy pesto and topping with the spiral noodles. I pulled all of the petals in and gently tied the “package” with a local chive… The final product came out ridiciously cute & uniquely delicious. 

Where do I get my inspiration from? Where do my recipes stem from? I get these questions quite a bit…  This wild potluck invitation is just one perfect example of how my creative juices begin to flow, and when it gets flowing, I go with it!  

Thank you Sunny for the wild inspiration.  For more wild love, visit: sunny
Stay Inspired.  Keep Creating.
Love, Angel

1 Comment

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    rita carnevale

    Beautiful Angel, thanks for the great ideas. To eat flowers is the ultimate sweet nectar without the side effects. So happy you are blogging again . Live and continued inspiration!

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