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3 Recipes for Foraged Foods


Chef Karlos Baca is introducing wild ingredients and native cuisine to guests at Colorado’s Dunton Hot Springs. Here, he shares three of his recipes for foraged foods
Recipes for foraged foods.
Stinging nettle soup. Photo by Erin Kunkel.
Stinging Nettle Soup


8 cups stinging nettles
1 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Sea salt

Foraged Garnish

Strawberry flowers
Wild rose petals
9 leaf parsley flowers
Crispy serrano ham


Blanch nettles in heavily salted water for 1 minute. Remove and squeeze out water. Roughly chop and add to blender. Add half of the broth, lemon juice, and pinch of salt. Blend and add stock until loose but still thick. Garnish with flowers and ham.

San Juan Mountain Smoked Trout & Blue Corn Tamales


4 fillets rainbow trout
1 package corn husk (soaked)
Trout rub
2 cups turbinado sugar
¼ cup fine grained sea salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. urfa beiber chile flake
½ tsp. whole black peppercorns
1 tsp. wild three leaf sumac


Lightly rub trout and cure 8-10 hours, rinse, smoke with applewood soaked in bourbon for 1 hour at 215F.

Nettle Pesto

¼ cup toasted pine nuts
¼ cup toasted pumpkin seed
1 cup blanched stinging nettles
3 whole Hatch green chiles
1 clove garlic
¼ cup lemon juice
Sea salt
Neutral oil


In blender mix all ingredients and add oil until consistent.

Blue Corn Tamale Masa


1 cup blue corn meal
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ¼ cup chicken stock
¼ cup duck fat (may substitute bacon drippings)
1 tsp. juniper ash (this may be omitted)


Bring corn meal, salt, baking soda, ash and stock to a boil and simmer until thickened. Incorporate fat. Remove from heat and refrigerate. Remove corn husk from water and evenly smear ½ cup blue corn in each husk used, in center of blue corn add ¼ cup smoked trout and ¼ cup nettle pesto. Fold over and roll. Tie off ends and steam for 1 hour.

Pickled Cholla Cactus


1 cup dried cholla buds
3 cup spring water (split)
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. wild three leaf sumac
2 tsp. juniper berries
1 tsp. chiltipin chiles (whole)
1 avocado leaf
1 cup sea salt
¼ cup sugar


Reconstitute cholla in half the water by bringing to boil and reducing to a simmer until flowers start to bloom. In another pot add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Once cholla is ready strain and rinse. Add to pickling liquid and let boil for ten minutes. Pour liquid and cholla into mason jars and seal. Refrigerate for 3-7 days before using. Will last a month in the refrigerator.

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