Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) is one of the earliest spring greens to emerge. In it’s raw state the leaves are perfect in salads or sandwiches (IMPORTANT UPDATE: Since writing this article over two years ago, I now no longer recommend you eat Lesser Celandine leaves raw. They contain protoanemonin which is toxic, but destroyed by heat and drying). The leaves of Lesser Celandine in the Middle Ages where used by sailors to treat scurvy as it is high in Vitamin C.
It is also great as a potage vegetable as this recipe will prove.
Warning: Lesser Celandine leaves should only be eaten before it flowers as during and after flowering it becomes slightly toxic. Make certain that you do a Tolerance Test if this is the first time you have tried this plant.
Serves: 2 people
Hunt down a patch of Lesser Celandine leaves.
Dice the Tempeh and fry in a little oil with the Tamari.
Heat the red wine, garlic and onion in a saucepan over a moderate heat until the onion is soft, about 5-10 minutes. Now add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Stir in the paprika and Dijon mustard. Next slowly add the flour and make sure that you keep stirring quickly all the time until the flour is well mixed with the other ingredients.
Now add the chopped Lesser Celandine leaves. Stir until wilted.
Next add in the fried Tempeh, vegetable stock and milk. Turn the heat to low and simmer until the Stroganoff begins to thicken.
Season with lashings of black pepper and serve either on its own or with rice or baked potato. Enjoy!
Robin is a forager and self-taught ethnobotanist. He specialises in wild edible plants and has been running foraging courses throughout the UK since 2008. He travels extensively documenting and recording the traditional and local uses of wild food plants in indigenous cultures.