There is a lot of room for experimentation and creativity with all the wild ingredients available—I’ve barely scratched the surface with the sauces I’ve made using my homemade or infused vinegars and the large number of wild ingredients available. Here is an example of a simple nasturtium and watercress hot sauce. This recipe makes two half-pint (250 ml) jars.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (473 ml by volume) nasturtium stems and leaves
  • 1 cup (236 ml by volume) watercress

  • 5 jalapeño peppers, seeded

  • 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) homemade vinegar or commercial apple cider, wine vinegar, etc.
  • 4 teaspoons (14 g) garlic powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 g) foraged or commercial sea salt

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) raw honey

  • Juice of 1 small lemon

  • 3–4 tablespoons (30–40 g) native golden chia seeds (or commercial chia seeds)

Directions

1. Place all the ingredients except the chia seeds in a blender. Blend until smooth.

2. Place into a bowl and add the chia seeds slowly as you stir, so they won’t clump together. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to let the chia seeds do their work by thickening the sauce, then bottle. I like to start using this sauce the following day and consume within a week.

Most commercial hot sauces use xanthan gum as a thickener. For my part I like to use what my terroir is offering. Chia or broadleaf plantain seeds are a healthy and nutritious alternative to the xanthan gum and, besides, they look great in the sauce and keep the ingredients in suspension.

This recipe is from Pascal Baudar’s book The New Wildcrafted Cuisine: Exploring the Exotic Gastronomy of Local Terroir (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2016) and is reprinted with permission from the publisher.