I’ve always played with my food and eaten with my fingers. As a child, these habits got me into trouble. As an adult, they led me into the kitchen. There’s no more satisfying way than cooking to play with your food.
My favorite kind of playing with food involves foraging. Rooting around outside to harvest tasty wild plants is, in itself, great entertainment. Being able to experiment with their unusual flavors in the kitchen is the bonus prize. I wrote about the unique flavor of devil’s club, a wild plant growing primarily on the Pacific coast of the United States from Alaska to California, in this post: How to Harvest Devil’s Club Shoots and Recipe for Sautéed Devil’s Club Shoots with Onions.
Yesterday, I played with devil’s club shoots. First, I made Devil’s Club Pesto (splendid and coming soon). Continuing the Italian theme, I made Devil’s Club Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Sauce, adapting a Mario Batali recipe for a similarly sauced Spinach Gnocchi. The result was even better than I’d expected, and my expectations were high.
For the 99% of my readers who don’t have access to devil’s club shoots, make the gnocchi with spinach. Or nettles. Or whatever flavorful green strikes your fancy.
Go ahead; play with your food!