Kelowna collector heralds the ‘Culinary New 12 months’ as she hunts for nettle – Okanagan

Kelowna collector Scott Moran ushers in what he calls the Culinary New Year.

“It’s based on the lunar cycle, and it’s the first lunar cycle of the year where you can go out into the wild without a greenhouse and gather food from the ground,” Moran said.

“We went out on March 24th and found two tiny morels [mushrooms]. “

While waiting for morels to emerge from the ashes of last year’s forest fires, Moran has focused his attention and scissors on the nettle as it is one of the first edible green shoots to appear in spring.

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“At the moment we only take what we can get our hands on,” said Moran. “They are getting bigger every day and will only be about a month and a half old. And when they grow up, we only use the very best parts [of the plant]. “

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The next step after foraging for the plant is to cook the nettle as it should not be eaten raw. It’s high in vitamin C and can help increase iron absorption.

“Steaming is fine, but I find it a bit rough. I like to fry them up quickly, almost like you would with kale chips. Or toast them in the oven or make a quick soup in the mixer. “

Nettle is relatively easy to find.

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“They grow in large patches, in colonies. They like to have a cooler place and no direct sunlight, ”said Moran.

The collector says that nettles can be found in swamps or at the edge of streams.

“Okanagan Streams seem to have a spot every few miles,” said Moran.

Moran says that Nettle is on the menu at Okanagan restaurants that pride themselves on serving local cuisine.

To make a soup with nettle, Moran recommends adding a small potato, a small onion, a cup of cream or milk, soup stock and a cup of water to a large saucepan and boiling, then pouring fresh nettle over it, put the lid back on, heat turn it off and put it in the blender after it has cooled down. The result is a creamy green soup.

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Moran sells his feed at the Kelowna Farmers ‘and Crafters’ Market and shares his travels on his Instagram page.

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