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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Foragers Diary; June 2018

June can sometimes be late for the tenderest of wild greens but there are still plenty about and it's just a case of selecting the tenderest, newest leaves and shoots if you want to make the most of your foraging opportunities. 

I often give people what I have come to call the 'salad dressing challenge' which involves finding all the ingredients for a salad in the wild, that means not using lettuce to bulk it up, or just finding a few ingredients to garnish a shop bought salad, everything except the salad dressing has to come from the wild.

The collection pictured to the left was big enough to provide side salads for eight people, and some people had two helpings. It contained;

- opposite leaved golden saxifrage
-lime leaves
-ladies smock (flowers and leaves)
-dog violet (flowers and leaves)
-hedge garlic
-bitter cress
-wood sorrel

My daughter filling her school bag with golden saxifrage, ramsons, comfrey (the comfrey doesn't go in the salad, that's for something else that you'll see next month) and dog violets.

You can of course add a few more ingredients like this wild Cesar salad featuring chopped ramsons, ramson flowers, ground elder, colts foot, hedge garlic, golden saxifrage, dog violet and sorrel and was way better than the soggy iceberg from the supermarket. Wild plants actually have flavour and the variety is amazing.

I've shared a recipie for a wild quiche on the blog before; HERE but just want to make it clear that the ingredients I suggested there are by no means your only choice for a wild quiche, here is an alternative to the redshanks and fat hen of my previous recipe; 

200 grams of plain flour
100 grams of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons water (ish)
pinch of salt

Make the pastry first and allow it to cool in the fridge before rolling it out placing it in the dish to bake. In the meantime prepare the quiche mixture.

Quiche mixture
2 eggs
250 ml cream or milk
wild ingredients
salt and pepper

Colts foot is unusual as it flowers before it puts up leaves.

Immature hog weed flowers are delicious almost like asparagus.

Ground elder has leaves that look a bit like normal elder but have a triangular stalk and only taste any good before they flower.

All the wild veg chopped and fried with some bacon.

In the pastry case.


I hope you have enjoyed this month's foray into foraging, give some of these things a try and hopefully this blog and some of the books I recommend below will help you take advantage of some of the wild food that's available out there. 

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