The first recipe I flicked to in James Wongs book was one for Hosta. I knew about some edible weeds, ground elder, nettles etc, and I knew about lots of edible flowers; borage, nasturtiums etc. But Hostas? How exciting!
I needed to try this. We had some fresh pasta, I finally had some time to pick a few leaves, and it was probably my turn to cook (blue moon and all that). There was obviously some trepidation from the guinea pig, I mean husband, about eating random plants, but I was all set.
I’d almost missed the start of the hosta plants, given that you have to pick the leaves as buds before they start to unfurl. I only had about nine shoots. Luckily, I spotted a few ground elder leaves to supplement the greens.
The recipe in the book is basically a pasta primavera with tagliatelle. I made a few changes, but the result was pretty much the same.
The picture shows:
Mint and Lemon Balm
Ground elder (pick the small, newer leaves)
which were all from the garden
Broad beans, asparagus, peas and broccoli not from the garden.
Garlic, hazelnuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice.
I also used some Chicken Stock to blanch the greens before adding them to the pasta. I then removed the greens and cooked the pasta in that stock.
Fry off the garlic and greens in some oil, add the cooked pasta, then finish with lemon juice and zest, Parmesan and hazelnuts.
I don’t know whether to go into lots of detail about technique here, as it’s not really what I’m about, I’m more interested in the experimenting and discovering new things. I’m not that great a cook, and let’s face it, if you did a search online for ‘Hosta recipes’ there will be loads.
I’ll just show you what I did, hopefully give you a bit of inspiration to try for yourself, and if I have posted this, it means I haven’t given myself, or hubby, food poisoning, so it must be OK to try!