One woman's adventures foraging the world.

Wild Onion for Easter

Wild Onion for Easter

It’s always the last thing you spot, the hidden-in-plain site prize feet away from your car.

I descended on the Delaware Water Gap, just west of the Appalachian Trail, on a sunny late March Saturday, the day before Easter. It was 60 degrees, unseasonable but welcome, and while I didn’t expect to find much, morel season was on me like a fever. I had to get into the woods.

It’s always the last thing you spot, the hidden-in-plain site prize feet away from your car.

I descended on the Delaware Water Gap, just west of the Appalachian Trail, on a sunny late March Saturday, the day before Easter. It was 60 degrees, unseasonable but welcome, and while I didn’t expect to find much, morel season was on me like a fever. I had to get into the woods.

Everything was bone dry but I spent a few hours hiking around, anyway. I found what remained of a mouse—someone had disturbed a bird at work—but little else. Then, at the end of my hike, as I tromped back to the car the smell of wild onion snapped me out of my reverie. Awl-shaped shoots sprouted in clusters throughout the tall grass all around. Wild onion! These weren’t the leafy ramps—the wild leeks—of my youth, but they were definitely wild onions. I worked one loose, dirt clinging to its white roots, and gave it a good sniff. No need to worry that I had plucked a similar looking but toxic wildflower instead: The garlicky, oniony smell* was a serious tell.

At home, I cleaned my find, tossed the onions in salt and olive oil, roasted them on the grill, and ate them for dinner.

*Simply put: if it looks like a wild onion and smells like a wild onion, it’s edible. If it looks like a wild onion but does NOT smell like a wild onion, you cannot eat it.

 



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