Chanterelles, Cinnabar Chanterelles, and Black Trumpet mushrooms (Craterellus cornucopioides, Cantharellus cibarius, Cantharellus cinnabarinus) - are some of the many amazing wild mushrooms that can be found in our woods right now. These three are related and, in my opinion, are best used in the simplest way: fried with butter and salt. If you wanted to preserve them, sun dry, and then grind into a powder to use as a seasoning (using them this way is said to concentrate flavor).
Elderberries (Sambucus canadensis) - are delicious and highly medicinal (great immunity booster) but must be cooked before enjoying!
Juniper berries (Juniperus virginiana) - an aromatic, piney seasoning for marinades, ferments, and gin.
Hopniss tubers (Apios americana) - an important Native American staple food. Use just like a potato for a side dish of wild starch
Goldenrod buds/flowers/leaves (Solidago) - a beautiful perennial flower, abundant in our landscape, beloved by pollinators, and vilified unfairly as an allergen (more about that here). All aerial parts of goldenrod are edible and make a nice sharp, floral, and spicy addition to savory dishes either fresh or lightly cooked. It is also a popular tea herb, used as the primary black tea substitute after the Boston Tea Party.
Nettle seeds (Urdica dioica) - a super superfood. Nettle seeds aren't very memorable in taste (vaguely reminiscent of seaweed) but make up for it in their magic health powers.
- All about nettle seeds and how to incorporate them into daily diet (smoothies, soups, salads, teas, baked into things...)
- More about use and history
Autumn Olives (Elaeagnus umbellata) - a juicy and tart invasive (and therefore abundant) berry. Great for snacking and preserves. The soft pit can be eaten or not. If making jam, pie, etc, strain the berries through a food mill or cheese cloth first to de-pit.
Curly Dock (Rumex crispus) - a gentle, slightly tart, green. Best cooked in my opinion, but edible raw as well. Docks are usually harvested in spring, when the leaves are young, but I found a patch that had been mowed down and regrew, so it's spring leaves in August. Despite their tough appearance, dock leaves are surprisingly fragile when exposed to heat and 'melt' quickly, so watch your pot/pan.
Larch (Larix) - A Vitamin C packed snack, Larch is the only conifer that keeps soft needles late into the summer. It makes great pesto, sandwich or salad additions, decadent grilled treat, tart tea, a citrusy note sprinkled on desserts, or seasoned salt.