I took out A LOT of books on foraging and edible flowers this week. A lot. The librarian didn’t look at me funny. Of course she’s used to this stuff by now.
I was glad to come upon so many new things that I’ve seen around, while hiking or just in my yard, and haven’t tried before.
I tried steaming unopened sunflower buds…that was not pleasant. Whoever wrote that recipe must not have tried them. The recipe boasted “a flavor similar to artichoke hearts”. While yes, they did look like artichokes, the taste was completely too bitter to enjoy. I don’t even know what to compare it to, just not yummy.
So onto the next.
Daylilies seem to be a common theme among wild edibles, being that they spread prolifically and can be found pretty much anywhere.
I’ve tried battering them and frying them just like squash blossoms and they come out great. Just make sure to remove the inside pistils before using. They can be a little off-putting.
So in the midst of all my foraging I realized that my zucchinis were piling up quickly in my fridge and I needed to do something with them.
I wanted to make zucchini linguine but with a little something extra for a heartier meal. I remembered that a friend had posted walnut-tempeh balls a while ago and I’d been meaning to try them because they looked amazing.
Well, not only do these look amazing, they taste out of this world. They would be perfect as a hors d’oeuvres or of course with a meal. Simple enough to make that I would as often as I’m in the mood for them. Although they do have soy in them, I buy good quality organic, non-GMO tempeh and you should too if you’re going to eat soy.
I found this recipe reposted on another vegan blog vegan crunk. The original recipe is in a vegan cookbook written by Brian Patton which I’m going to have to check out one of these days since I keep coming across his great recipes!
this recipe makes approx. 10 balls
4 oz tempeh
1/2 c raw walnuts
1 T nutritional yeast
1 t fresh minced flat leaf parsley
2 T fresh chopped basil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c yellow onion, diced
1/4 t dried thyme
1/4 t dried oregano
1 T organic ketchup
1 t tamari or soy sauce
1 T water
1 T olive oil, and more for coating the balls and baking sheet
Salt & pepper to taste
(I did amend a few things on here, I changed tomato paste to ketchup because that was all I had and added fresh basil instead of dried because hello, it’s summer. You can add 1/2 a teaspoon of [a vegan?] Worcestershire sauce if you have it but I don’t think I’ve ever bought that in my life so I left it out.)
Slice your tempeh into strips and place it in a veggie steamer for 25 minutes to soften.
While the tempeh is steaming, prepare the other ingredients.
Heat oven to 350.
Place everything besides the tempeh in a food processor and blend until you have a moist, mealy mixture.
When the tempeh is done steaming and cool enough to handle, crumble it into a bowl. Make sure there are no large pieces and it’s uniformly crumbled.
Add the mixture from your food processor into the tempeh bowl and mix well.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum or parchment and rub it with oil.
Form balls a bit smaller than ping-pong balls and place them on your sheet.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
They will brown significantly but be careful not to let them burn.
They will hold together nicely once cooked all the way through. If they feel like they are not holding together, they might not be cooked enough.
The balls should not stick to your pan but if they do, loosen them gently with a spatula to prevent breaking them.
Serve with a tomato sauce for dipping or with some zucchini linguine and seasonal vegetables.
Pink grape tomatoes, zucchini and herbs from my garden.