We've been harvesting and eating milkweed pods. Problem is that the season is marching on, and the little pods, the ones that can be boiled and eaten like green beans, are getting bigger.
With a proliferation of milkweed pods, too old for boiling, but still edible, I started looking for other options, and I found some recipes for stuffed milkweed pods, but none of them were what I was tasting when I thought of "stuffed." What I wanted was something like stuffed shells.
So, I made them, using a recipe for lasagna swirls and some advice/information from the The Forager's Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants.
Basically, I opened each milkweed pod and took out the white seeds and silky stuff. This I put into a pan with a bit of water and boiled (per the information in the The Forager's Harvest). Then, I boiled the "shells" until they were bright green - about ten minutes.
While everything was boiling, I grated about a 1/2 cup of cheese into a bowl with a whisked egg, and added some seasonings.
After ten minutes of boiling, I took the shells out of the water and let them cool. I added the seeds and silks to the egg mixture, and when the shells were cool enough to handle, I stuffed them - like pasta shells.
I put them all in a caserole pan, and topped it with a meat sauce (tomato sauce with ground meat and spices :) and some cheese and baked it at 350° for about fifteen minutes or so.
It was delicious, and exactly what I've been craving ever since someone said "stuffed shells."
In the same area where we harvested the milkweed, we also harvested 5+lbs of blackberries. We'll freeze these to use later ... and maybe tomorrow, I'll whip up a blackberry cobbler.
It's getting easier to add foraged food to our meal plan, and really, a couple of hours per week to forage is infinitely cheaper than going to the grocery store ... and even growing it in my yard. The real challenge is not finding food to forage, but recognizing it as food once you find it :).
Stuffed milkweed pods ...? It's a keeper.