Culinary Experiments with Devil’s Club Leaf Buds

Devil's Club Leaf Buds in Harvesting Basket

Devil’s Club Leaf Buds in Harvesting Basket

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!

Be sure to check out the recipes mentioned in this post:


10 Responses to Culinary Experiments with Devil’s Club Leaf Buds

  1. Peter M says:

    There we go again, both cooking up the same ingredients…this time blue cheese.

    The possibilities with gnocchi are endless, now you’ve incorporated Devil’s Club!

  2. Devil’s club, wow! The Pacific Northwest is wonderfully abundant. The gnocchi look delicious. Bradford Angier never included recipes like that!

  3. I have never had devil’s club before but gnocchi in gorgonzola sauce is really good.


    blue cheese is also one of my favorite non-Greek cheeses, as well as cheddar

  5. i’m a huge fan of spinach and gnocchi so love the idea of this, especially with the foraged devil’s club. thanks for saring it with vegetables, beautiful vegetables!

  6. cookinpanda says:

    I have strong feelings for gnocchi and gorgonzola. This will be infinitely satisfying.

  7. Mike of Mike's Table says:

    Gnocchi alone is impressive in my book, but doing something so unique? Very interesting and very impressive. It looks great!

  8. PeterM, I really loved your blue cheese salad but, then again, I can’t ever get enough blue cheese.

    LuLu, Bradford Angier was a trend setter. From everything I’ve read, Devil’s Club grows in California too, so you better start studying up for next season!

    Kevin, especially green gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce. Mmm – wish I hadn’t eaten all the leftovers…

    Maria, I feel exactly the same way!

    Abby, you’re so welcome! Thanks for visiting!

    Panda, yes, there’s something about the soft pillows of gorgonzola and intensely flavorful cheese that really go togeher well.

    Thank you Mike!

  9. Devil’s club.. wow.. didn’t even know it existed until now. Those spiny bits look decidedly unfriendly though.

  10. Finspot says:

    I knew there must be some use for the treacherous bramble that can sorely interrupt a pleasant bushwhack! Thanks for such a creative take on an otherwise argumentative green.

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