Camping greens

I didn't know, until I moved to California, that people go camping for fun. I still am not sure why, but at least I have learned enough by now to come out relatively unscathed from a yearly weekend of excess nature, sun burns, caked in dirt and grit in my teeth. My child and his best friend at the camp site (photo by Gianni Neiviller)

That's what I did last weekend, and while my back is just beginning to recover, skunks are just leaving my nightmares and the loft is finally rid of dust, what matters most is that it was great family time, spent making lasting memories with beloved friends.

While walking along the beach, my inner forager detected wild fennel and a very cute little rabbit.

The rabbit must have read my mind because it quickly retreated, so I settled for the fennel, which I used to the campsite's acclaim.

I don't have any pictures of the food as I was too busy keeping my jeans clean and fighting off raccoons, so I hope you will be happy with flowers, a landscape and some children.

Enjoy these improvised greens. Next year I will be going for that rabbit.


Wild fennel

Camping greens

3 to 4 good handfuls of the wild fennel that grows so generously all along our coast 1 sweet yellow onion 1 handful of hazelnuts (you can substitute with any nuts and or seeds you have: walnuts, almonds, pecans, flax or pumpkin seeds) salt and pepper to taste

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil (yes I go camping with a tin of olive oil, extra virgin and from Tuscany, no less) 1 bag pre-washed cooking greens (I had baby kale, but any greens will work) 1 lemon

Wash and roughly chop the fennel. Slice the onion in paper thin half moons. Chop the hazelnuts.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet on your camp stove or fire and soften the onion with a pinch of salt. Add the nuts and toast for 2 to 3 minutes.

Now add the fennel and cook until the stalks have softened. Lastly, add the greens and braise down until everything comes together softly and is ready to enjoy with whatever you are putting on the grill that night.

Adjust salt and pepper and serve with lemon wedges.

Beautiful California coastline

Wild geranium