Redshank (Persicaria maculosa) is a member of the Dock family. Under-utilised as a wild food it is not very well known about, and very few authors have explored its culinary uses. In this Redshank recipe I hope to address this imbalance.
I find Redshank rather bland as a vegetable, and definitely one that needs to be cooked, but mixed with other more flavoursome ingredients it can be turned into something special.
When I conduct wild food events I often talk about foraging for wild edibles not just for flavour, but also nutritional intake. Obviously flavour is important, but part of why I forage is to increase the minerals and nutrients I take into my body.
I eschew vitamin and mineral supplements that have fragmented our foods into isolated substances that we can quickly take without having to experience the taste and texture of the wild. And we have put them on a pedestal when that pedestal needs to be toppled!
As a forager I consume “a little of a lot” rather than the dominant way of eating which is to consume “a lot of a little”. When you consider that the normal way of consuming fruit and vegetables is to visit a grocers, then you are only at most able to consume up to about 25 different species. Consider that a forager over the course of a year might eat upwards of 250 species and you’ll see that foraging is indeed a healthy lifestyle choice.
Spring Rolls Ingredients
Dipping Sauce Ingredients
Simply mix the dipping sauce ingredients together and serve.
Serve with dipping sauce.
Robin Harford is a self-taught ethnobotanist, and has spent over a decade traveling, researching, recording and uncovering the traditional and contemporary use of wild plants in Britain and beyond. More recently his work has taken him to Africa, India, SE Asia and Europe. He is a co-director of Plants & Healers International, a non-profit that connects people, plants and healers around the world.