Rummaging around in my very empty fridge, I chanced upon some renegade potatoes. “What are you doing in there?” I asked quizzically. The reply was they made themselves lie beside the illustrious Sea Purslane (Atriplex portulacoides) because they thought they would be a nice fit. In a word a big hint to combine them, and so I did with the results being “not bad” for such a simple wild food dish. [Read more…]
I often refer to Sea Aster (Aster tripolium) as “Queen of Saltmarshes & Estuaries”. She is one of the most delicious wild greens out there. OK that’s Robin’s opinion, but whenever I serve her up the reaction is usually one of delight. Her flavour is one that must be experienced and she can often be found growing alongside Marsh Samphire aka Glasswort (Salicornia europaea). So grab your wellies, and head to your nearest estuary or salt-marsh for a gourmet wild delight! [Read more…]
Sea Purslane (Atriplex portulacoides) has a gorgeous, salty leaf with a nutty crunchiness to it. I remember about five years ago I took a young family down to the estuary, and one of the children who hadn’t eaten their greens in a couple of years, sat for 20 minutes chomping down on the leaves. They said that they were very similar to salted crisps, and so Sea purslane became “The Salty Crisp Plant” to this youngling. What better way to engage children with the wild, than to allow them to graze in situ. [Read more…]
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) has always intrigued me. Her smell is heady and intoxicating, which is hardly surprising considering that she contains thujone, a psychotropic, although in very small quantities in Tansy. Thujone can be found in Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) which is found in high concentrations in absinthe, a drink that Van Gogh was partial too and made him paint vivid pictures before finally chopping off his ear in a spate of madness. His death being attributed to his absinthe addiction. [Read more…]
I’ve been meaning to make a Pendulus Sedge (Carex pendula) recipe, and while gathering the seeds which are so easy and quick to do, the idea for this Wild Gomasio sprung to mind. This is the result, and one I am glad I discovered. Use as a salt sprinkle replacement on eggs, salads, fish, roasted vegetables etc. [Read more…]
Heavenly Chinese Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) is one of my all time favourite edible flowers. She bursts forth with great clusters of sweet smelling lilac flowers, the scent taking me into reverie. When I first started experimenting with her a few years ago I used her in my salads and as a vinegar. This year I wanted to translate her scent into a quaffable drink. This wisteria recipe does just that! Imagine her smell as a divine nectar, and you have this wisteria flower syrup. [Read more…]
Young sea aster (Aster tripolium) leaves are just coming up down at the estuary where I forage. I have a love affair with this plant. The leaves make for a delicious wild vegetable, and can be used in a multitude of ways as my previous sea aster recipes show.
As I am teaching a lot and out foraging most days, I wanted to create a quick and gorgeous lunchtime snack. Personally I think this sea aster pate recipe turned out rather good, and all my friends who sampled it thought that it had worked too! [Read more…]
Delicious Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) are budding forth as I write this. One of the most unique taste sensations in the hedge, I have a love affair with this plant that takes me into the realm of the sensuous. The leaves and leaf tips are extraordinary, but the Oxeye Daisy flower buds have got to be tried to be believed. Divine is not too strong a word to describe them! [Read more…]
An interview with Simon Mills, herbal practitioner and author of Principles & Practice of Phytotherapy, The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety, Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. In this interview Simon’s talks about : Why plants are not pills. Taking back control of our health from experts, and much more.