[ FORAGING ]
The marsh-marigold (Caltha palustris) (also known
as cowslip and kingcup) is not a marigold at all; it is
a member of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae)
that grows in shaded marshes, ditches, and
streams around the northern hemisphere. The
flavor of marsh-marigold greens receives mixed
reviews. Some foragers only pursue them because
they are available early in the spring when few
other greens are. However, I have found that the
marsh-marigold has much to recommend.
In mid to late spring, the marsh-marigold’s
yellow flowers resemble those of other buttercup
Top: In early spring, before the yellow flowers emerge,
marsh-marigold identification relies mostly on leaves,
stems, and buds. Bottom: Waterproof boots are key.
Submerge marsh-marigold greens in a small pot of
boiling water. Every 10 minutes, strain the greens,
discard the water, add new water, and begin boiling
anew. Have a large pot of water boiling nearby to
refresh the small one.
In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over
medium heat. Add half an onion, diced. Cook until
soft. Add 1 teaspoon chopped ginger, 1 clove minced
garlic, ¼ teaspoon cumin, a dash of cayenne, and
salt to taste. Cook two more minutes. When the
greens have boiled for 30 minutes in three changes
of water, toss them in the oil and spices.
Serve the fried greens over warm rice.