Note: leaving the process of collecting cattail pollen and the noodle recipe itself unchanged, we removed the introduction due to its lack of information.
Cattail pollen noodles
Pollen is my favorite part of cattail.
Its color is bright yellow, the smell is soft, floral, slightly nutty. But not too strong. Nutritionally, it contains 22% carbohydrates, 17% proteins and 2-7% fats.
The high protein content is great, but actually for me pollen is more of a spice, like turmeric or saffron. The classic use of pollen is for scones or muffins. One day you will also need to try to do this. But most of all I love noodles. Before we get to the recipe, I’ll talk about how I collected pollen.
Collecting cattail pollen
A colleague of mine suggested a good method for me. You need to find a bottle of water or milk, wash and dry it. Of course, you need to have a lid and make sure that it is intact and does not allow air to pass through. The bottle should be turned over. Then you need to take scissors and cut a hole in the bottom of the bottle, about 7 cm in diameter. Voila, the pollen collection device is ready!
Now – let’s move on to the actual collection. It is necessary to go at a time when the “arrows” are still green, or are just turning brown. This season is very short and lasts in the spring, in March-April. It is advisable to read or otherwise study how things are specifically in your region. At this time, at the top of the “arrows” you can find a strange, dirty area, which will be yellowish. You need to tilt the cattail and place this tip of the “arrow” in your container. Then shake so that the pollen sprinkles into your makeshift “container”. On average, there is one tablespoon per plant – not too much for constant use, but good for adding variety to your kitchen.
Attention: it is advisable to find in advance the location of the growth of cattail, in early spring, before the very season of pollen collection! As already mentioned, it is quite short – only about a week, so you need to be ready to start it and periodically check how things are.
Having brought pollen home, it should be sifted through an ordinary sieve – in order to cleanse it of debris and small animals that may be there. I have never stored pollen for a long time, but it can be placed in a glass container and frozen.
How to cook noodles
- Preparation: 1 hour
- Cooking: 20 minutes
- Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Servings: for 6 people
- 2 cups flour
- 3-4 tablespoons of pollen
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup water
- 2-3 tablespoons of oregano
- Olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- Lemon juice (optional)
- Grated cheese (optional)
- To make the noodle dough, combine the pollen and flour in a large bowl. Make a depression in the center, break the egg there and add water. Beat the dough with a fork or hands. Depending on the flour and the humidity in the air, more water may be needed. An uneven, hard mass should form. It needs to be kneaded into a ball, right in a bowl. It is also worthwhile to carefully monitor the pieces adhering to the bowl and return them to the total mass.
- When the dough is formed, transfer it to a floured board and knead for about 5 minutes more. Form a ball of dough, cover with cling film. Leave for exactly 1 hour – let it moisturize and infuse.
- Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Take one of them, return the rest to the tape. Knead it with your fingers, then roll it out with a rolling pin or, if possible, with your noodle cutter. The author used a Marcato Atlas Pasta Machine. Don’t roll the dough too hard: it should be about half a centimeter thick. In my car, this corresponds to setting # 5, while # 9 is the maximum subtlety mode. Sprinkle the resulting sheets with flour and let them dry well. When they are all dry, pass them through the noodle cutter. If you don’t have a noodle cutter, just cut into long ribbons with a sharp knife – and you will have noodles!
- Gently toss the noodles with extra flour and lay on the board to dry further.
- Boil water in a saucepan. Add salt. Take a large saucepan (this is a saucepan with a handle), add two tablespoons of olive oil and turn the heat to medium heat. Then, submerge the noodles in a pot of boiling water. Use tongs to stir the noodles so they don’t stick together. When the noodles begin to float, continue to cook for another 30 seconds, then drain and transfer the contents to a saucepan with olive oil.
- Toss the noodles in hot oil, then add the oregano. Turn off heat and transfer everything to a large bowl. Season to taste – pepper, cheese, lemon squeeze, maybe add a little more olive oil. Cattail pollen noodles are ready!