Chilled Zucchini Soup with Purslane
Wild Ingredient: Purslane
Alain Coumont's cool vegan soup gets its creaminess from pureed zucchini, sautéed onion and garlic. It's brightened with purslane, a lemony weed that Coumont plucks from his Languedoc country garden; if purslane is not available at your local farmers' market, substitute baby arugula leaves instead.
Fish Fry with Ramp Aioli
Wild Ingredient: Ramps
To get his son Braedon to eat fish, Shea Gallante fries it in a seasoned crust. "My son's like me: He goes for strong flavors, not wimpy ones," he says.
Pickled Wild Onions with Honey and Wild Rosemary
Wild Ingredient: Wild Onions
Chef Joshua Skenes of San Francisco's Saison employs a full-time forager to find ingredients like the wild onions Skenes pickles and serves alongside house-made rabbit terrine. The garnish: wild rosemary blossoms and fried foraged greens—chickweed, oxalis, miner's lettuce. The recipe here is a simplified version.
Honey-Sweetened Mascarpone with Berries and Pistachios
Wild Ingredient: Wildflower Honey
Dahlia Narvaez adored the deliciously rich mascarpone cheese she ate in Umbria. "It's such a great backdrop for all the different honeys made in Italy," she says. She made this dish with delicate Umbrian wildflower honey but says stronger honeys like chestnut would also be terrific.
Wild Ingredient: Wakame Seaweed
Kacie Loparto harvests seaweed along Maine's coast and sells it at farmers' markets and on her website. She especially loves wakame mixed with miso, ginger and cucumber.
Chicken, Wild Mushroom and Roasted-Garlic Sauté
Wild Ingredient: Wild Mushrooms
Marcia Kiesel, a self-described mushroom freak, uses porcini to make her delicious, earthy chicken thigh sauté with roasted garlic cloves. She finishes the dish with a sprinkle of chopped tarragon, which adds a light, herbal sweetness.
Strawberry-and-Wild-Fennel Compote with Pound Cake
Wild Ingredient: Wild Fennel, Fennel Pollen
Pastry chef Bill Corbett of Absinthe Brasserie & Bar in San Francisco harvests his own fennel pollen for this dessert by hanging wild fennel flowers upside down; as they dry, the pollen falls into a container below.
Sorrel Mousse with Lemon Cream
Wild Ingredient: Sorrel
Patrick O'Connell discovered his affinity for French food while reading the works of legendary writer Elizabeth David; he especially loved the sorrel sauce he found in her 1960 book, French Provincial Cooking. When he opened The Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia, he experimented with sorrel in lots of different ways, eventually creating this exquisite, tangy mousse.
Lemon Verbena Tart with Cape Gooseberry Compote
Wild Ingredient: Lemon Verbena, Cape Gooseberries
Mary Dumont picks the lemon verbena for this fabulous, puckery tart from her kitchen garden, just outside her restaurant's back door. The cape gooseberries grow in the yard all summer long.
Summer Blackberry Custards
Wild Ingredient: Wild Berries
Alain Coumont makes these ethereal, citrusy custards with wild blackberries gathered from his property. Try them with blueberries, raspberries or pitted cherries, too.