Last week I went wandering to one of my favourite foraging patches. It’s by a river, and a haven for birds, critters and wild nibbly things. I was out shooting footage for a video on nettle.
Not for myself, but for an online company that was offering a ‘wilderness date’ day.
No not a dating site. This was for folk already in a committed relationship. A way for busy (often child-laden) couples to add pizzazz to and jazz up their coupling.
It’s so easy when one “gets hitched” to fall into the routine of life, kids and the pursuit of paying bills. Often losing the romantic buzz that attracted two people together in the first place.
So this company was trying, in a really fun way, to put the spontaneity and fizz back into couples lives. I was all for it. And if it meant that the story of nettle would reach more folk, so be it.
As I finished off the shoot, I slowly wandered back to pick up my two-wheeled push pedal vehicle.
It was then that I came across a large community of Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale). It has a pretty short window of opportunity for gathering. Because as soon as it gets beyond the early growth stage, it turns tough and spindly.
But this young growth was mahoosive, supple, and begging me to harvest it. Pondering what I was to craft from the green delight I was holding in my hand. I decided to do something Asian with it.
Hedge Mustard is part of the Brassicaceae family. The same family as your kale, broccoli, turnip, cabbage etc.
And in Asia, mustard greens are used quite a lot in cooking. So I set about having a ponder. Then, slowly the idea for a rice soup (something eaten a lot in places like Thailand) came to mind.
When it comes to recipe creation. I simply allow the smell, texture and look of the plant to slowly pervade my mind. Until they combine to trigger something in my memory.
It’s a bit alchemical I suppose.
So when I got home, I created this quick, nourishing recipe for my sweetheart and myself. I started this post talking about a wilderness date day. Well, why not create your own?
Grab your partner, a loved one or other intimate friend. And use this hedge mustard recipe to nestle in with each other in the kitchen.
Create some nourishing physical food to nourish your relationship. I love the unintended consequences of foraging. From gathering nourishing food to nourishing human relationships.
Hedge Mustard Recipe : Ingredients
- 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil 1 shallot (finely sliced)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 5g laver seaweed
- 50g shiitake mushrooms (sliced)
- 100g fresh hedge mustard leaves
- 115g jasmine white rice
- 2 tablespoons of miso
- 4 tablespoons of mirin
- 1 litre of water
- 2cms galangal or ginger
- 2 sticks of lemongrass
- 4 kefir lime leaves
- 2 thai green chilli
Hedge Mustard Recipe : Suggested Instructions
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Lightly fry the shallot and shiitake mushrooms until shallot is soft, then add the lemongrass, galangal, chilli, kefir lime leaves. Fry for 30 seconds.
- Add 2 tablespoons of miso, add 1 litre of boiled water, stir until miso is dissolved. Simmer for 10 minute.
- Next add the rice and finely chopped hedge mustard greens and laver seaweed. Stir in well, and simmer for 15 minutes. Take off the heat.
- Stir in the mirin and leave off the heat for another 5 minutes, then serve.
- Notes: Before serving remove the kefir lime leaves and lemongrass. Chew but do not swallow the galangal slices. Enjoy!