Cooking With Yucca

Yucca blossoms check all the boxes for me when it comes to wild edibles.  They are abundant, widespread, and of course, delicious! Additionally, when harvested correctly, your meal won't harm the plant one bit.

There are close to fifty different species of yucca, and their range extends from Guatemala all the way north into parts of Canada. When enough moisture is present, they bloom generously from early Spring into Summertime. In addition to being a choice wild edible, this plant also holds many medicinal virtues, which I look forward to sharing more about at a later date.

This marked a banner year for the yucca population in Southern Colorado where my father lives. I have never seen more of them in bloom at one time. Each stand of them appeared to be gathered in awe, looking onward toward the snowcapped peaks of the mountains just beyond. Harvesting an armful of their flowers to cook for my family was an utter privilege and delight.

Yucca is a forgiving food. Its flavor is mild and its texture, sumptuous.  As long as the blossoms are fully cooked, you really can't go wrong.  Pair them with your favorite garlicky greens, sauté them until they're translucent and scramble them with eggs, batter and fry them, or use them alongside with your preferred protein to fill tamales. Below you'll find suggestions for harvesting yucca blooms along with a simple (and fool-proof) recipe for your first foray into cooking with this uniquely nourishing wild plant.

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