Forage: How to source pine needles and use them to flavour all your favourite foods
You don’t have to wait till spring to go foraging, and this pescatarian feast from chef Shawn Adler proves it
Anishinaabe chef Shawn Adler has been harvesting wild edibles since his mother first showed him how as a child. In each episode of Forage, he teaches us how to source in-season ingredients from our own backyards and sustainably forage them, before turning them into a delicious dish we can make and devour in our own kitchens.
While it’s true that not a lot of fresh food grows naturally in the dead of Canadian winter, chef Shawn Adler doesn’t think that should stop us from foraging in the colder months completely. In fact, even in our harshest of climates, there may be things growing right in our backyard that can bring unique, new flavours to meals we already cook on the regular. In this episode of Forage, Adler shows us how to sustainably source and pick pine needles straight from the tree, and use them to season an entire pescatarian feast. Check out the video below to see how it’s done, then scroll down to grab the full recipe.
Pine-Infused Rainbow Trout
By Shawn Adler
- ¼ cup salted butter
- 2 handfuls of pine needles, freshly harvested
- 1 whole rainbow trout, gutted and scaled
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 small portobello mushrooms
- 1 lb fingerling potatoes, parboiled
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup fresh peas
- 1 handful fresh spinach
Place a large cast iron pan over high heat. Melt in the butter and add the pine needles.
Place the whole rainbow trout overtop the pine needles. (Alternatively you can use a filet of fish). Add a pinch of salt and pepper and sear until the skin is golden and blistered on both sides, roughly 2 minutes.
To the skillet add the mushrooms, potatoes and pour over the white wine. Cover with a lid or large metal bowl and steam for 3-4 minutes. Rotate the potatoes and mushrooms to ensure they are evening cooked. Continue to cook until the fish is tender, flaky and cooked to your preferred doneness.
At the final stage add in the minced garlic, peas and spinach. Toss until the spinach is slightly wilted and then remove skillet from heat and serve.