high desert test kitchen
october ingredient: california buckwheat
monday, october 16, 2017


Deep, burnt oranges and umbers, rusts and golden sun, the colors of fall. The desert doesn’t boast a showy display of flickering foliage, instead subtle loss of saturation and density slowly drain throughout the summer, signifying the pending shift of season. But there’s at least one conspicuous prototypical fall plant adhering to text-book trademarks, California Buckwheat. Furry little red globes hover over thin stalks of the same coloring, little pockets of warmth that alternate with the sharp olive lances of yuccas and Joshua trees dominating the rocky, sepia landscape. When these flowering heads have fully “rusted,” leaving little trace of their former white or pink blossoms, you can harvest them whole, seeds and chaff alike. The result is a rustic, pleasantly bitter meal that can be added to baked goods, toasted as a topping, or as the breading for deep-frying (my favorite). As this plant isn’t available commercially, make sure you’re harvesting mindfully, and with permission! Tips for processing are available on my website. Balls out!
—Sarah Witt

For more information on HDTK, as well as more helpful tips on California Buckwheat's many uses, check out Sarah's website

Monday, October 16th at 7pm
Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center
65336 Winters Rd. Joshua Tree, CA