TO FUTURE RESIDENTS
Living with other artists is a big chunk of the residency, and you will figure out your own agreements. We did groceries together and held communal dinners. One day, Diego suggested nettle pesto for dinner, and the two of us went on a mission. Amager Fælled is a great spot for nettle-picking. Summer is not the best season, but I suggest you give it a shot (it was one of my most rewarding and fun experiences in Copenhagen). Ask Metropolis for scissors and gloves, and focus on the plant’s fresh shoots (15 cm of the stem).
Simple rules to sustainable foraging by Vild Mad (check their website!)
• Take care of the plants you forage. Always read the “Nature” section for each ingredient so you know how to forage without destroying the plant and ruining its opportunity to reproduce.
• Think about the plant’s life cycle and the next forager. Leave something for the next person, and never pick the last of anything. If all of the elderflowers are picked in the summer, there won’t be any elderberries to forage in the fall.
• Only forage what you need, and use everything you bring home. It is best to forage with a recipe in mind so you know exactly how much of a wild ingredient you need.
• Harvest each species in an amount that matches its abundance. In other words, forage many plants of the plentiful varieties but fewer of the more scarce varieties. Plants considered weeds, like stinging nettles and Japanese knotweed, can be harvested liberally. Conversely, show restraint with more scattered plants.
Ingredients for a cup of nettle pesto (stolen from Diego Echegoyen)
120 g of nettles
22 g of fresh basil
2 tbsp of toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp of grated Parmesan
2 tbsp of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 tbsp of chopped toasted walnuts
3/4 cup of olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste