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NYC Wildflower Week

Edible Natives
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edible natives
Cooking Classes
Brooklyn Tastings
Manhattan Tastings
Queens Tastings

at-a-glance calendar


Native Food Cooking Class
See recipe below
Time: Friday, May 7, 7:00 - 9:00pm
Location: Whole Foods Culinary Center, 95 East Houston Street
Register for this event

Description: Join Louisa Shafia, chef and author of Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life, for easy ways to cook with wild edibles like ramps, lamb’s quarters, sorrel, and other seasonal ingredients.

On the Menu: Stinging-Nettle Pesto with Crostini and Market Vegetables; Lamb’s Quarters-and-Pea-Shoots Soup; Shiso-Cucumber Salad; Spot Prawns with Garlic, Sorrel, and White Wine; Rhubarb and Pistachio Parfait.
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See recipes beow


Time: Throughout Wildflower Week
Location: 605 Carlton Avenue, Prospect Heights, 718.942.4255

Description: This seasonal American restaurant with Old-World European influences will feature nightly specials with NYC native plants such as ramps and fiddlehead ferns, including a Spring Onion Soup with Boar Lardon and Pecorino.
Get Subway, Bus, and Rail Directions from HopStop.


Time: Throughout Wildflower Week
Location: 246 Dekalb Ave., Fort Greene, 718.789.2778

Description: iCi’s pholsophy: the best-tasting food is naturally grown and harvested in ways that are ecologically sound and socially responsible by people who are taking care of the land for future generations. Featured menu item: Braised spring lamb shoulder with Brooklyn-made caviatelli, baby artichokes, ramps, and pea shoots.
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The Green Table
Time: Throughout Wildflower Week
Location: 75 Ninth Avenue, Chelsea Market, 212-741-6623

Description: Green Table’s daily menu reflects what’s freshest at local farms and greenmarkets. Featured menu items: Wild Vegetable Tempura–wild ramps and fiddlehead ferns along with other “domesticated” spring vegetables.

Get Subway, Bus, and Rail Directions from HopStop.

MAS (farmhouse)
Time: Salon dinners Sunday May 2 and Monday May 3Featured items on the nightly menu throughout Wildflower Week.
Location: 39 Downing Street, West Village, 212-255-1790

Description: Join chef Galen Zamarra and special guest speakers for an enlightening conversation about cooking with local native foraged ingredients. $65 prix-fixe dinner. Limited seating, reservations required. Nightly menu to include: Trout piscator stuffed with wild ramp and smoked trout mousse.

Sunday May 2, 2010 7pm
Guest Speaker: Mariellé Anzelone, Co-Founder & Executive Director of NYC Wildflower Week

Monday May 3, 2010 7pm
Guest Speaker: Marion Bush, wild forager for several of New York's top restaurants

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Pure Food and Wine
Time: Throughout Wildflower Week
Location: 54 Irving Place, Union Square, (212) 477-1010

Pure’s raw vegan menu is entirely plant based and does not use any processed ingredients. Nothing is heated above approximately 118 degrees in order to preserve vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Featured menu item: Sweet Violet Herb and Orange Salad.
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Time: Throughout Wildflower Week
Location: 21-02 30th Avenue, Astoria, (718) 545-5550

Description: This neighborhood restaurant offers simple and Italian-inspired favorites guided by the local green market. Featured menu item: Spaghetti with charred ramps and sheeps milk ricotta.

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Spring Onion Soup with Boar Lardon and Pecorino 
Wild Nettle Soup with Roasted Garlic Foam and a Stew of Hen of the Woods Mushroom
Spaghetti with Charred Ramps and Sheep's Milk Ricotta
Lamb’s Quarters and Pea Shoots Soup

Braised Spring Lamb Shoulder with Caviatelli, Baby Artichokes, Ramps & Pea Shoots


Spring Onion Soup with Boar Lardon and Pecorino 
Courtesy of James, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Makes four servings

1 bunch spring onions with greens
2 ramps or young garlic
2 shallots
1 qt. veg stock
3 oz butter
2. oz dry white wine
½ cup of cleaned spinach
Sprig of fresh thyme 
¼ cup boar bacon
¼ cup Pecorino Foglie di Noce, grated 

• Cut the boar bacon into small pieces and render until crispy in a 3qt sauce pot and remove from pot leaving the melted fan in the pot.
• Clean the onions and ramps by separating the green tops from the white bulbs. Rinse thoroughly.
• Medium dice the onions bulbs, ramp bulbs and shallots.
• Rough cut the greens from the ramps and onion as well as the spinach.
• In the 3 qt sauce pot with the boar fat on low heat add the butter and melt.
• Add all the cut white bulbs.
• Sweat on low heat until tender stirring occasionally. Do not brown the onions.
• Add the onion and ramp greens and spinach and continue sweating on low heat until tender.
• Add the white wine and cook for a few minutes.
• Add the vegetable stock and thyme sprig.
• Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
• Remove thyme.
• Blend in a vita prep blender blend until smooth.
• Season with salt and pepper, adjust the consistency with veg stock or water.
• Place in soup bowl, sprinkle with boar and grated cheese and serve.

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Wild Nettle Soup with Roasted Garlic Foam and a Stew of Hen of the Woods Mushroom
Courtesy of Mas (farmhouse), West Village, Manhattan
Combine 3 recipes to make final dish
Makes five servings

For Mushroom Stew
1/2 lb  Hen of the Woods, fresh
1 cup  Mushroom Broth
1 tsp  Grapeseed Oil
1 tsp  Butter
2 TBSP Shallots, minced
1/4 cup  White wine

• Trim the mushrooms into even size florets.
• In a large rondeau sweat the shallots in the butter and oil.
• Add the mushrooms and cook slowly for about 5 mins. (NO COLOR)
• Deglaze with white wine. Reduce au sec.
• Add broth and simmer covered for 5 minutes.
• Cool with the liquid.

For Wild Nettle Soup

1/2 cup  Onion, thinly sliced
1 TBSP Butter
1 cup  Turnips, peeled sliced thin
1 qt  Water
1/4 cup  Dry Vermouth
2 tsp  Honey
1/4 cup  Parsley leaves

1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 tsp mustard seed
5 black peppercorn
1/4 tsp hot pepper flake

3/4lb  Nettle leaves 

• Sweat onions slowly until lightly browned in the butter
• Add the turnips and cook for a few mins.
• Deglaze with vermouth and cook au sec
• Add cold water and honey, bring to a simmer. add the sachet.
• Simmer for 30mins.
• Add the parsley leaves and remove the sachet. Bring to a simmer again.
• Puree and strain through chinois, cool immediately.
• Boil the nettle leaves in salted water for 2 mins.
• Shock in ice bath, strain and puree on high speed until very smooth.
• Keep the puree cold to preserve it's color.

For Roasted Garlic Foam
Yields 1 cup

5 cloves Garlic
1/2 cup Cream
1/2 cup Milk
Sachet: 1 bay leaf, 1 piece thyme, 2 black peppercorns, 1 juniper berry

• Roast the garlic cloves in oven until light brown and sweet.
• Steep the garlic in milk and cream with the sachet.
• Remove the sachet and puree until smooth.
• Pass through chinois and cool.

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Spaghetti with Charred Ramps and Sheep's Milk Ricotta
Courtesy of Vesta Trattoria & Wine Bar, Astoria, Queens
Makes two servings

1oz extra virgin olive oil
2oz of ramps
1/4 cup of room temperature sheeps milk ricotta
1/4lb of spaghetti
1 tea spoon of lemon juice
parsley, salt and pepper

• Begin with a hot saute pan and 1 oz of extra virgin olive oil. Add 2 oz of clean ramps to the pan. Cook until fork tender, slightly blackened.
• Boil spaghetti according to package instructions. Reserve pasta water for sauce.
• In a separate pan, combine 1/4 cup of room temperature sheeps milk
• ricotta, 2 tablespoons of pasta water and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
• Add a bunch of parsley chopped, salt and pepper to taste.
• Combine ramps, ricotta mixture and 1/4 lb of spaghetti. Cook in pan on low heat adjust texture of sauce with pasta water and serve.

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Lamb’s Quarters and Pea Shoots Soup
Adapted with permission from
Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life by Louisa Shafia, ©2010. Published by Ten Speed Press. Available January 2010.

This lighter take on cold spinach soup gets its rich texture from potatoes instead of the traditional cream. Lamb’s quarters grow wild and are sometimes considered a weed, but they taste like chard or spinach when cooked. Pea shoots are the young leaves and tendrils of pea plants. Long used in Chinese cooking, pea shoots have a strong, fresh pea flavor. Serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks green garlic, or 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 large handfuls lamb’s quarters, coarsely chopped
2 large handfuls pea shoots, coarsely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
4 teaspoons chopped fresh chives for garnish 

• Heat a stockpot over medium-high heat, add the oil, and then add the green garlic.
• Cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes.
• Add the potatoes and 2 teaspoons salt, stir, and pour in the stock.
• Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.
• Stir in the lamb’s quarters, cover, and cook until the leaves are soft but still bright green, about 4 minutes.
• Add the pea shoots and cook for another minute. Pour the soup into a blender and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
• Serve warm or cold, garnished with a dash of lemon juice and a teaspoon of chives. 

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Braised Spring Lamb Shoulder with Caviatelli, Baby Artichokes, Ramps & Pea Shoots
Courtesy of iCi, Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Makes six servings

3 pounds lamb shoulder, deboned, cut into cubes
1 small onion, 1 celery stalk, 1 carrot, all cut into ¼" cubes
2 bay leaf, small bunch thyme, 3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 c red wine
3 c chicken or beef broth, sodium free, if possible
Salt and pepper
24 baby artichokes, trimmed
2 whole lemons
1 tbsp flour
¼ c salt
¼ pound ramps with greens, finely sliced
2 oz pea shoots , cut into 2" lengths if they aren't babies
2 pounds fresh caviatelli, thawed 

• Season the lamb with salt and pepper.  In a large roasting pan, heat 3 Tbsp cooking oil until nearly smoking.  Add lamb pieces and brown on all sides.
• Remove lamb from pan, pour out oil and add new, 3 more tablespoons. Sauté carrot, onion and celery until onion is beginning to get some color.  Reduce heat to medium, return lamb to pan, add dijon mustard, red wine, bay, thyme, and garlic.  Allow wine to reduce by half, then add broth to nearly cover meat.  Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook gently on the stove top or in a 350 degree oven for 1-2 hours, or until meat is quite tender, stirring occasionally. 
• Remove lamb from braising liquid, reserve.  Strain liquid and allow to stand for 20-30 minutes so the fat rises to the top.  It is easiest to remove fat that is cold, so if you have time and can refrigerate the liquid for a few hours, you will be able to remove the semi-solid fat much more easily.  Return the lamb to the strained and degreased liquid.
• For the artichokes: Place artichokes in a large pot with lemon, ¼ c salt, 1 Tbsp of flour.  Cover pot with a large plate to keep the artichokes from floating out of the water.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes until artichokes are tender when pierced with a knife or skewer.  Drain from cooking liquid and reserve.
• For the pasta:  Bring 1 gallon of water to a boil with 3 tbsp of salt.  Cook pasta 3-4 minutes until floating.  Strain.
• Heat the lamb braise, pasta, and artichokes in a large sauté pan or pot, stirring gently to coat the pasta in sauce.  When everything is very hot, add ramps and ramp greens and half of the pea shoots.  Taste for seasoning.
• Serve each person a bowl of pasta and sauce, with a garnish of raw pea shoots, dressed in lemon juice and olive oil on top.  A little bit of shaved radish would also be nice.

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