Food from the wild

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Food from the wild

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  • Food from the wild natures own larder

    In English

  • Common chickweed Stellaria mediaChickweed salad (2 portions)

    1 large bunch chickweed

    3 tablespoons French dressing

    3 teaspoons sweet cicely, chopped

    2 juicy apples, diced

    Rinse the chickweed and mix with the

    apple. Mix the sweet cicely and French

    dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad

    and toss. Ready to serve!

    Chickweed soup (6 portions)

    1 litres chicken stock

    6 spring onions, finely sliced

    1 large potato, peeled and diced

    2 bunches chickweed, chopped (save a

    few sprigs for garnish)

    salt

    freshly ground pepper

    300 ml cream

    Bring the stock to the boil in a large pan.

    Reduce the heat and add the onion,

    potato and chickweed. Simmer for 10-15

    minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

    Whizz everything except the cream in the

    blender. Return to the pan and add the

    cream. Heat through. Garnish with a few

    sprigs of chickweed.

    Chickweed is mainly

    used as a salad, but

    also in soups and it is an

    excellent substitute for

    spinach. The best way to

    pick it is to cut off the up-

    permost, younger parts

    of the plant.

    Chickweed is something that many people curse in

    their gardens. It is an annual and is easy to remove

    but, if left alone, it spreads easily, producing many

    seeds that are quick to germinate. The stem can

    form roots, and this also helps the plant to spread

    and form large mats of foliage. Common chickweed

    can be recognised by the fine hairs on only one side

    of the stalk. Chickweed appears early in the spring,

    remaining green until the snow arrives. It contains all

    the vital amino acids, making it an excellent source

    of protein.

  • Stinging nettle Urtica dioica

    Nettle soup (4 portions)

    2 litres fresh nettles

    butter

    2 tbsp flour

    1 litre water

    2 vegetable stock cubes

    salt and white pepper

    1 large onion, chopped

    1 clove of garlic, chopped

    2 potatoes

    150 ml single cream

    Rinse the nettles in several changes of water

    and cut the leaves away from the stalks.

    Place the leaves in boiling, salted water.

    Boil for 5 minutes and discard the water.

    Fry the onion and garlic in the butter. Boil

    the water in a pan with the stock cubes.

    Add the nettles, onion and potato. Simmer

    for about 15 minutes or until the potato is

    cooked. Whizz in a blender and season

    as required. Add the cream and serve hot,

    together with newly baked bread.

    The most common use

    for the stinging nettle is

    for soup, but the plant

    can also be dried,

    powdered and used in

    bread, or used as a green

    vegetable in other dishes

    such as pies and souffls.

    Most people probably have a special relationship with

    nettles on account of their stinging hairs. Pick nettles

    early in the spring, but use gloves to avoid being

    stung. The plant contains a number of important

    mineral substances such as iron. New plants grow

    up quickly where nettles have been picked, so young

    nettles can be enjoyed all summer. But they are

    nevertheless best in the spring.

    Stinging nettles can be mistaken for white dead-

    nettles. They, however, do not sting, and there is no

    problem if they are mistaken for each other as the

    white dead-nettle is edible too. It has white flowers

    that have a sweet taste and which attract bees, so it

    is sometimes called the bee nettle.

  • Garlic mustard Alliaria petiolata

    Dip

    300 ml crme fraiche, sour cream or

    Turkish yoghurt

    100 ml finely chopped garlic mustard

    tsp salt

    white pepper

    Try adding other herbs such as basil, chilli

    or paprika.

    Mix crme fraiche with the garlic mustard.

    Add other herbs as desired, and season to

    taste. Serve with sticks of carrot, cucum-

    ber and peppers, crisps or cheese-grilled

    nachos.

    The leaves of garlic mustard should be picked and

    used before the plant blooms. If a leaf is rubbed

    between the fingers, it can be recognised by its cha-

    racteristic oniony smell. Justice is best done to the

    taste if used fresh in, for instance, a tomato salad,

    with salted fish and smoked or salted meat. If it is to

    be used in hot dishes such as flavouring in a soup,

    it should be added at as late a stage as possible so

    that the special oniony taste does not disappear.

  • Common sorrel Rumex acetosaSorrel and currant pie

    Pastry

    125 g butter

    300 ml flour

    100 ml sugar

    1 tbsp water

    Filling

    20 fresh sorrel leaves

    400 ml redcurrants or blackcurrants

    200 ml sugar

    Mix the ingredients for the pastry and use

    it to line a pie dish. Bake for about 10

    minutes at 225o. Add the filling. Put back

    in the oven for another 20 minutes.

    Serve warm, with whipped cream or vanilla

    ice cream.

    Sauce 1

    Bring cream to the boil, whisk in fish stock

    and add knobs of cold butter. Add roughly

    chopped, blanched sorrel leaves. Season

    with salt, pepper and a touch of saffron.

    Sorrel can be recognised by its

    sharp taste and by the arrow-shaped

    leaves that have two small lobes at

    the base. The plant should be eaten

    in moderation as it contains oxalic

    acid, which can damage the kidneys

    in large doses. Sorrel can be used in

    many dishes and is particularly good

    with different types of fish. It can also

    be used to flavour sauces and in

    salads and sandwiches.

    Sauces for salmonSauce 2

    100 ml single cream

    100 ml crme fraiche

    sorrel leaves according to taste

    salt, pepper, lemon

    Mix all the ingredients in a blender.

  • Sweet cicely Myrrhis odorata

    Sweet cicely soup (4 portions)

    2 litres sweet cicely leaves

    20 leaves of wild garlic or 1 large onion,

    chopped

    1 tbsp butter

    2 tbsp flour

    1.25 litres stock

    salt and pepper

    100 ml whipping cream

    Blanch the sweet cicely leaves. Save the

    water. Whizz the leaves in a blender. Melt

    the butter in a pan. Add the wild garlic or

    onion to the butter and soften. Add the

    sweet cicely and the stock. Simmer for a

    few minutes. Thicken with the flour mixed

    in a little water. Season and add

    the cream.

    At first sight, sweet cicely looks like a particularly

    coarse, bushy wild chervil, but the strong scent of

    aniseed or liquorice and the light green, hairy leaves

    give it away.

    Sweet cicely is a species that was introduced for

    cultivation and has then become wild. It has grown

    in Sweden since the 17th century at least. Dont

    mistake it for the extremely poisonous hemlock,

    which you can see in Fredriksdals garden of bene-

    ficial plants, in plot 4B. It does not smell of liquorice

    and it has red markings on the stalk, unlike sweet

    cicely. Hemlock is well known as an ingredient in the

    poisonous draught that killed Socrates.

    Sweet cicely can also

    be used to make a

    delicious green snapps

    with a pleasant liquo-

    rice flavour. Put the

    plant into unflavoured

    snaps (32%) and allow

    to stand in daylight for

    about one week.

  • Ground elder is a plant that is both loved and loat-

    hed. It is an invasive weed but also a delicious edible

    plant. It likes well nourished soil and, since it spreads

    with rootsuckers, it is difficult to eliminate. The large

    size of the clumps make it easy to get at and to

    pick. The young leaves can replace spinach in many

    dishes. In the Middle Ages, up until the 1700s, it

    was popular to cultivate ground elder and, apart

    from being a food, it was used medicinally since it

    was thought to cure a particular type of gout called

    podagra or port wine toe.

    Ground elder pie (4 portions)

    Pastry

    300 ml flour

    125 g butter

    4 tbsp water

    Filling

    2 litres ground elder leaves

    1 large onion

    vegetable stock

    Egg batter

    3 eggs

    300 ml milk

    200-300 ml grated cheese

    black pepper

    Mix the ingredients for the pastry and use

    it to line a pie dish. Bake at 250 for 10

    minutes until the pastry is biscuit-coloured.

    Chop the onion and fry until soft. Blanch

    the ground elder for 10 minutes. Discard

    the water and chop the leaves finely. Mix

    with the onion and add the stock. Put the

    mixture in the pastry case. Whisk the eggs

    and milk together. Add the cheese and

    season with black pepper. Pour onto the

    filling and bake for 30 minutes.

    Ground elder - Aegopodium podagraria

  • Water mint Mentha aquatica

    Water mint muffins (12)

    2 tbsp dried water mint leaves, or 4 tbsp

    fresh leaves

    50g butter

    125 ml milk

    2 eggs

    200 ml sugar

    300 ml flour

    1 tsp baking powder

    2 tsp vanilla sugar

    Heat the oven to 175. Put muffin cases

    onto a baking sheet. Melt the butter and

    pour in the milk. The mixture should be

    tepid. Whisk the eggs and sugar until fluffy

    and add the mint. If fresh mint is used,

    this can be liquidised into the egg mixture.

    Add the milk and butter mixture. Mix the

    flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar and