Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Miners' Lettuce Malfatti for Foodie Reads 2016

I hadn't planned to include this book in my log for March Foodie Reads 2016 Challenge - Foraged Flavor by Tama Matsuoka Wong and Eddy Leroux* since I've had the book for a long time, but we rarely actually forage. Good intentions, but not totally practical. Still, I'm happy to have this book in my library. And yesterday, while the boys were with my parents, they must have come across a bounty of miner's lettuce because they came home with an entire bag full.

What do you do when your mini foodies come home with a bunch of foraged weeds?!? Well, you work them into dinner!

On the Page...
Foraging has always intrigued me. Finding something edible in the wild just seems exciting, doesn't it? While miners' lettuce isn't included in the book, it's divided into seasons which I really like. You also get tips on where to find the plant, its growth habit, key characteristics, and harvesting tips.

Last year, I attended the Foragers' Festival in Big Sur. Click to see photos and read about that on my blog. And here's a quick slideshow of photos as well.

On the Plate...

So, faced with - no hyperbole here! - thirty cups of miners' lettuce, I decided to make some malfatti with about four cups last night. I'll keep you posted on my miners' lettuce adventures this week. This recipe isn't from the book, but I was inspired to revisit the book after I made dinner.


  • 2 C whole milk ricotta
  • 1/2 C mascarpone
  • 1/4 C shredded parmesan
  • 4 C miners' lettuce, washed, dried, stem removed + some reserved for garnishing
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 C gluten-free flour blend
  • polenta for dusting
  • 1/2 C heavy cream
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Place the miners' lettuce in a large pot with 1 T water. Cook quickly until wilted but is still bright green. Drain it and run cold water over the greens to stop them from cooking further. Pulse in a blender, then strain. I ended up with about 3 T miners' lettuce puree.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place all of the other ingredients - up to the polenta - in a large mixing bowl.

Blend with a fork until everything is well-incorporated.

Place the polenta in a separate bowl. With moistened hands, form tablespoon-sized portions into balls. Roll them in the polenta and place them in the baking dish. Leave some room between the malfatti.

Pour cream over the malfatti.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the dumplings have expanded and are slightly browned. Serve hot, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with another miners' lettuce leaf, if desired. Pronto al tavolo!

*This blog currently has a partnership with in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to and search for the item of your choice.

Here's what everyone else is reading this month: March 2016 Foodie Reads Challenge.


  1. I have never heard of miner's lettuce. Kudos Cam for giving your kids the knowledge to know what they have when they find it.

  2. How cool that you had this resource after the kids went foraging!


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