We don’t know how your city’s garden grows, but in Los Angeles our public and private spaces are littered with free food sprouting from hillsides, traffic medians, abandoned lots and neighbors’ fruit trees. This has in turn seeded radical programs that make use of this neighborhood produce that might otherwise die on the vine. Originators like Fallen Fruit map where to snag an up-for-grabs lemon; the growing FoodForward army puts grapefruits in the hands of hungry children; and Tree People teach people how to keep their peaches blossoming.
We salute these green-thumb eco-warriors … For being better people than us. We’re selfish when it comes to our urban “gardening” efforts. We just wanna rob you blind.
Last weekend we missed our usual farmers market. So when Evan went to make a salad he found beer and a three-week old science experiment in oxidation that was (once) an avocado. Them’s not salad fixin’s. Luckily there were big bunches of nasturtium flowers around neighbors’ yards. Nasturtiums are delicious – bright and peppery and vegetal without tasting too much like the weeds they are. So, rather than hit the store, we went robbin’ for lunch. After rinsing the lilly-pad shaped leaves and candy-corn colored flowers, we tossed ‘em with a light kumquat vinaigrette (recipe below, yo). Really yummy.
We’re making this a regular routine. Watch out homeowners. We will not ask permission. And we are not going to share. Its every muthafucka for themselves on the streets of L.A. We are coming for your flower buds. We’re gonna raid your pansies. And we’re gonna eat the living shit out of them.
Free Lunch Nasturtium Salad
2 cups nasturtium flowers
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar or agave
Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
1. Steal about 2 cups nasturtium flowers from the nearest bounty.
2. Pluck off the stems about half of an inch from the flower bud. Separate the flowers from the green leaves. Very gently rinse both and pat dry with paper towels. Look for any bugs.
3. Press three of your kumquats in a press for their juice, just about a teaspoon. Slice the remaining one into thin rounds for garnish.
4. Whisk vinegar, sugar and kumquat juice together, slowly adding oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Gently toss (by hand) leaves and flowers with the vinaigrette in a mixing bowl. Serve and eat immediately.
Beverage: New Belgium’s Le Terroir (Lips of Faith)
Soundtrack: Cypress Hill, “Insane in the Brain.”