Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Foraging Season

This is one of my favourite times of year for foraged food - and there are all sorts of goodies on Long Road. I am yet to collect some of the violets which are currently carpeting the scrub area at the end of the road and make the delicious recipe below but I have had a chance to collect some wild garlic leaves. We have always relied on Richard Mabey's book Food for Free for advice and identification guides - as it can be easy to muddle up wild garlic with poisonous lords and ladies before either is in bloom. Although the pungent garlicky smell when you rip a leaf really is the the best way to tell. After collecting and washing it tends not to keep for more than 24 hours in the fridge so its best eaten straight away or works fine when I've used it from frozen. Here is what I cooked up with it last night which went down a treat with the kids & J:

Fresh Pasta

Fry up:
Onions (Caramelise for 20 mins or so)
Butternut squash & carrot (cut into batons)
Tenderstem Broccoli
3 big handfuls of wild garlic leaves
A little Pasata ( I like mine with a bit of chili but have to add that to my own at the end or I get howls of "too spicy!")

Vegebacon in thin slivers
Sundried Tomatoes


Now I'm eyeing up the young nettle patches on Long Road too, for next the foraging raid.

Lovely article by Richard Mabey on the joy nature brings him.

"At the age of four I ran wild in an abandoned scrap of land behind my house. It was where my understanding of the wild came from and where I did my first foraging. I began to appreciate how a piece of the earth could have symbolic significance."

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