Spring has arrived in the UK - what are we foraging?
Posted 30 March 2010 - 07:18 AM
I made a light vegetable stock - boiled a potato in it - to give a bit of thickening and just wilted a bunch of well washed leaves in the stock then liquidised and sieved it. It was a very subtle flavour - I think I will use a few more leaves next time but it was very enjoyable. No need to worry about getting gout in the spring now!
Posted 30 March 2010 - 08:34 AM
The Unrelenting Carnivore
"If every pork chop was perfect, we wouldn't have hot dogs." (source unknown)
Customer to clerk in a clothing store, "Do you have these in a size for people who actually eat?"
Posted 21 April 2010 - 04:59 AM
We have been getting lots of nettles and wild garlic. Most go into 'green juices', but the garlic has also gone into salads and both have been made into relatively successful soups.
I have recently discovered wood sorrel, which has bowled me over. A tiny little plant, but one that packs a big taste - a wonderful sour grape flavour which is good in salads.
Also dandelion leaves are coming up in my neck of the woods now and are also a good addition to salads.
We love foraging in our house and find that if we take the kids they will try anything we've picked. We do have to be careful with our 2 year old though. After taking her mushroom picking a few times last year we found she would then just go up to any muchroom and pick it, which can be dangerous!
Posted 21 April 2010 - 03:41 PM
I am using wild garlic at the moment - I slice it very thinly and wilt it in butter then crush it with some new potatoes. I use nettles for soup.
My daughter is in the herb business supplying a lot of London hotels/restaurants and she is always getting asked for wood sorrel. We have lots in our woods but she refuses to go picking because it is so labour intensive. I have never tasted it, I must make an effort this weekend and get some for a salad.
Posted 24 April 2010 - 03:02 AM
Posted 24 April 2010 - 11:41 AM
... i do fancy dabling with some Elder. Looks interesting.
The Elder season hasn't started yet. Elderflowers are still a few weeks away. The berries months away.
Ground Elder is nothing like the Elder tree.
Internet foraging is a recipe for confusion!
There are masses of Alexanders shooting up now.
There are lots of poisonous things (including Hemlock) that they could be confused with. Take care!
Unfortunately, though I am confident I can distinguish them, I don't really like the strange perfumed flavour of the raw leaves. A little goes a very long way!
Roll on the elderflowers!
Posted 24 April 2010 - 12:57 PM
I tried using it like spinach last night and just wilting it in butter but it was very tough so I had to liquidise it with cream and use it as a puree.
Posted 24 April 2010 - 01:20 PM
Ground elder is no relation to the elder tree. It is an herbaceous plant not a tree. ...
Which was precisely the distinction that I was pointing up to nbaines who fancied "dabbling with some Elder".
I'm looking forward to the elderflower season. My favourite forage.
For elderflower 'champagne' there are two important caveats.
- don't follow HFW's tv recipe. (Too much sugar, leading to too much gas.)
- don't use glass bottles. Especially not the flimsy Ikea flip-tops as employed by HFW on tv. They explode. Glass shards are sharp. Flying shards of sharp glass add nothing to my happiness. Big plastic ("PET") lemonade bottles are much better - and massively safer. But Waitrose 1 litre Tonic Water bottles are my favourite. Plastic, strong enough, reasonable size - and they don't fall over as they fully pressurise - the snag with the PET bottles is that the base can distend, and so the bottle won't stand up. The drinker's ability to stand up is a different matter!
Posted 24 April 2010 - 01:40 PM
Posted 27 April 2010 - 05:30 AM
I have sprayed ours with Glyphosate or whatever it's called so can't experiment, and hope I'll never see any again (but probably will...)
Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:12 AM
(Mabey says (in Flora Britannica "Garlic Mustard or Jack-by-the-hedge, Alliara petiolata, is an abundant herb of hedge-banks and woods, smelling mildly of garlic. It has long been used as a flavouring: in sauces for fish and lamb in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and as an ingredient for spring salads today. In 1993 it was being sold for a pound a bunch in a smart Italian delicatessen in London's Covent Garden. Jack-by-the-hedge is a biennial, and the soft nettle-shaped leaves can be picked from September, when they first begin to show, until late spring, when the brilliant white flowers appear".)
And ate an awful pie
Posted 12 May 2010 - 09:24 AM
I'm making the most of the Wild Garlic in the New Forest. I just can't get enough of it right now. Gorgeous. I must say, i do fancy dabling with some Elder. Looks interesting.
After checking photos on the internet, I realised that there was lots of this growing by the river near my house. Which bit of it do you use, same as normal garlic? It is all in flower at the moment, is it still OK to use?
Posted 12 May 2010 - 11:19 PM
And don't worry, flowering doesn't stop you using it
Posted 01 July 2010 - 05:33 AM
I'm amazed at the intensity of flavour that comes from those little flowers. A beautiful drink on a hot sumemrs day.
Posted 15 September 2010 - 06:01 AM
Mushrooms went in the dehydrator...
Damsons and apples went into the pot...
...and ultimately into a jar...
There's the dried ceps in the background.
Posted 15 September 2010 - 06:27 AM
Posted 15 September 2010 - 06:51 AM
There is about 4 kilos in that bowl and is the result of about 3 hours picking for 1 person last friday evening and saturday morning. Some from locations known to us, others from elsewhere.
After a very dry summer here the forest has gone mushroom crazy recently.
Posted 15 September 2010 - 08:13 AM
Posted 16 September 2010 - 01:50 AM
...to make fruit leathers. One has got some pips left in, the smooth one was whizzed in the vita-mix too...
Edited by offcentre, 16 September 2010 - 01:51 AM.
Posted 12 October 2010 - 05:25 AM
these were boiled up in some water, strained and sugar added to the resulting liquid. Reduced to a vague syrupy consistency and bottled.
Huge amounts of vit C allegedly and rather suprisingly tasty.
Who'd have thought it!
Posted 12 October 2010 - 06:09 AM
Posted 13 October 2010 - 04:23 AM
Posted 22 March 2011 - 11:49 AM
This is a really interesting thread, I hope others can add more. Apart from nettles and blackberries I haven't foraged much myself. My Dad makes sloe gin and various country wines though, so he picks a bit more. Would love to know about green leafy things that can be foraged.
Posted 16 April 2011 - 06:32 AM
Posted 16 April 2011 - 07:02 AM
Posted 16 April 2011 - 08:33 AM
Pam, are you referring to ramsons when you say wild garlic? Because I think they are technically a different plant from something in America called Ramps which also gets called wild garlic.
Anyway, have just discovered we have some ramsons in our back garden so I am very happy!
Posted 21 April 2011 - 07:56 AM
Asiatic DayFlower-- like spinach when sauted
Lady's Thumb-- good in salad
Poor Man's Pepper--horse radish quality
Lamb's Quarters -- similiar to spinach
Garlic Mustard Seed Violet leaf
Red Clover Blossoms--tea
Hedge Mustard -- salads
I got this information from Saveur article " Etheral Spring "
Posted 22 April 2011 - 01:49 AM