Foraging flowers

The word foraging does make me laugh, purely for its millennial usage really but I’m using the word because there really is no other word. Gathering actually but even that has a pretentious ring to it! I feel like us millennials have made some things too ‘hipster’ so I blame this for my judgemental-ness sometimes.

But I love these following ingredients. Wild Leek is a new but welcome addition to my kitchen cupboards!

I’ve picked 3 ingredients that you can forage (admittedly the last only from gardens – so maybe ask permission) but I’ve paired them each with a neat Summery recipe to try at home.

Photo credit: WTML/ Laurie Campbell

Couldn’t find my own to show so, photo credit: WTML/ Laurie Campbell

Wild Garlic

I always knew about wild garlic growing up. Even though I’m from the centre of Bristol I’m lucky enough to live 30 minuted from Ashton Court and Leigh Woods which are full of it! Not to mentioned all my time spent down in Cornwall.

Wild garlic is also known as Bear’s garlic, which I love, and has a strong smell of proper French, dried garlic. It has a lovely fragrant taste to match.

A note of caution: when foraging it’s leaves do look an awful lot like Lily of the Valley so be careful as they are poisonous!

Here’s a recipe I love for using this wonderful garlic plant.

Wild Garlic Pesto

100g Wild Garlic leaves

60g Pine Nuts

1/4 Lemon juiced (you want the juice)

A pinch of Salt and Pepper to taste

A pinch of mustard powder

1 tbsp of Nutritional Yeast (if you’re vegan this is a great nutty/ cheesy addition to many dishes) Gives the Parmesan kick for this particular dish.

4 tbsp of Olive Oil/ Rapeseed Oil (whichever you prefer)

Method:

Wash your garlic leaves and leave to dry in the sun or pat dry with kitchen roll

Roast the pine nuts by heating them, dry, in a frying pan – make sure to watch these and mix as they cook so they don’t burn on one side, when they’re a toasted colour turn off the heat, roughly chop.

Using a food processor, mix the lemon, seasoning, nutritional yeast, pine nuts and wild garlic. As they get finely chopped, slowly add the oil you have chosen. I prefer Olive Oil as it has a richness to it however, rapeseed oil may be more your thing for a lighter tasting pesto.

Voilà!

For storage, keep in the fridge and top with fresh oil to keep it from going moldy!

Wild Leek

I discovered Wild Leek at work, their flowers top one of the dishes and I asked what they were. I made the mistake of thinking they were wild garlic but wild leek is also something to look out for to forage it would seem! In Bristol you’ll find it on every green bank, I even spotted it in a graveyard a few days ago, littering the site with beautiful white flowers.

I recommend using the flower as part of a summery salad! They add a strong onion, garlic taste to a dish.

Wild Leek Flower Salad

1 Beef Tomato, roughly chopped

100g Spinach

100g Kale

A pinch of Salt and Pepper to taste

1 tbsp Olive Oil or Rapeseed Oil

2 tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar

8-10 Wild Leek flowers

Method:

Heat a small pan with the oil and add the tomatoes, spinach & kale – you just want to heat them through so add the salt and pepper to taste and then take it off the heat

Toss the veg into a bowl with the balsamic vinegar and place the wild leek flowers to serve, making sure everyone gets a bite of wild leek!

Rosemary

I love rosemary! It’s a staple in my cupboard and in my garden, I love to stick fresh sprigs in with all my cooking, roasties (potatoes), meat and more. However, I also love it as part of a tipple as well.

I love this herb because it is a hardy plant, it will survive our blustery winters and blossom in the summer into a beautiful scented part of the garden. All you’ll need is a sprig or two for this recipe, depending on how many drinks you decide to make!

Rosemary Gin Fizz – 2 glasses

3/4 sprigs of Rosemary

1 cup Water

1 cup Sugar

Soda water

50 ml of Lemon juice

A couple of slices of Lemon

100 ml of Gin (I love Tarquin’s)

Method:

Firstly you need to make a syrup. It’s super simple! Just heat your sugar and water in equal parts in a pan and bring to a simmer, stir until all sugar is dissolved. Once it’s dissolved, add a couple of your rosemary sprigs and let the natural oils infuse, take off the heat after a few minutes and leave for 30 mins or longer.

Once the syrup has infused and you can taste the rosemary in it you can begin to build your cocktail!

Start with ice cubes in your glass.

Then pour 50ml of your gin into each glass, add 25ml of Lemon Juice, 50ml of your syrup and top with soda.

Add a sprig of rosemary to garnish and a slice of lemon and enjoy!!

Multiply this recipe to enjoy more and don’t forget to play with how much syrup, lemon juice and soda you use as you may find more or less suits you better.

I hope you have fun with these recipes!

L xx

 

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