If you listen to some authors of wild food cookbooks regarding Sea Sandwort recipes (Honckenya peploides), you’d be forgiven for never wanting to try it. I on the other hand don’t bother listening to others opinions, which is why I don’t read newspapers or watch TV! I want to experience the world myself, directly, not second-hand via some ‘authorities’ prejudiced world-view. Which is why this sea sandwort recipe turned out pretty funky (obviously that’s my opinion). Just make sure your friends share it, because you will be honking of garlic for a fare few hours!
I simply love laver (Porphyra umbilicalis)! It seems to go so well with so many different ingredients, you just need to play and experiment. With wild food now a household name, you could be forgiven for thinking only Michelin chefs can produce delicious nosh. But that’s not the point, wild food is for everyone, and posh chefs be damned, wild food tastes so good because it doesn’t actually require a vast knowledge of cooking, techniques etc., as this simple laver recipe proves.
Sea aster (Aster trillium) is an extraordinary estuary wild vegetable. Waitrose last year tried selling it in their stores but it no longer appears on their website. Hardly surprising, because when I asked the staff in my local shop how to use it. I was of course testing them, the reply on countless times was, “Err, I’m not sure Sir. Try steaming it”. Little did they know that this plant can be used in many ways, and goes exceptionally well with fish. So try this Sea aster recipe as it had my friends purring with delight.
This mugwort jelly recipe will have you purring with delight. Perfect as an accompaniment with lamb, duck or other fatty meats. Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) was one of the first plants that got my attention once I had crossed the threshold into “Depth Foraging”. I was walking the “foul stinking beast” through a field near my house when all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I spotted this silvery grey looking plant literally jumping up and down waving at me. If it had bells on it they would have been ringing furiously. I ended up calling mugwort the singing, ringing plant, cos it makes one hell of a din if you do not pay attention to it when it wants to get to know you.
Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) jelly is an incredible taste sensation. Smeared liberally on hot toast with lashings of butter, the flavour is sinfully delicious. This blackberry jelly recipe is a doddle to make.
Pick 4lb of blackberries. This should take less than 20 minutes if you do it with a friend or family, and find a bumper crop.
The various wild mustard have gone from luscious spicy leaves, to wasabi biting flowers and now over to seeds. But you need to be quick in order to get the seeds ‘green’ (soft) rather than brown and hard. You can use any variety of mustard, but for this recipe I used black mustard seeds (Brassica nigra). This vibrant black mustard vinegar recipe goes great drizzled over pork or fish, and works wonders added to a vinaigrette dressing.
Sea Purslane Atriplex portulacoides is a truly versatile vegetable that grows prolifically on salt marshes. I have made numerous Sea purslane recipes and each time I am awed by how good a food source it is. Yet rarely does it get a mention beyond a few leaves in a side salad. As this Sea purslane recipe proves, wild food cuisine does not need to be complicated. And when it comes to my style of cooking, less is often more.
I’ve recently got into blending whole lemons with a banana and necking the lot. You might be forgiven for thinking that it must taste exceptionally sharp, but it doesn’t. No really, try it, its delicious. So while I was crafting this sea arrowgrass recipe, I decided to throw in a whole lemon just to see what would happen, and ‘my oh my’ am I glad I did.
I am now sold on this sea arrowgrass recipe, and its become a bit of a household favourite. It’s just such a pity that sea arrowgrass has such a short life before becoming spiky, which is how I assume it gets the ‘arrowgrass’ bit of its name. Be prepared for a cuisineairian delight.
The wild cherries are literally dripping from the trees this year. As I gather armfuls of them to concoct into this delicious Sobriety Drink the juice streamed down my arms to the point that I had to change my shirt. Next time I’ll gather naked, which will bring a whole new meaning to ‘wild and free’.
I’m in love with roses at the moment. I just can’t contain myself. I’m sniffing as many as I can, creating rose flavoured concoctions that would have angels sighing with delight, and if I could, I’d wear them as well. I’m also avoiding sugar and wanted to create a recipe that mimicked the Ayurvedic tonic Gulkand which uses rose petals and sugar.