Tuesday 3 May 2011

COOKING wild food.

I am total fan of food for free, if I can manage a few ingredients from the hedgerow I am delighted. I was also delighted to pick up this book from a charity shop, it has fantastic veggie recipes, but best of all a brilliant section on foraging. It actually starts with explaining the hungry gap, this is a concept that doesn't really effect us any more with our supermarkets that keep us in constant food from all around the world, even with the invention of poly tunnels I have found that I still great variety from our Organic veg box each week. So the hungry gap is when they years supply of food is at its end and the seeds are planted for the next, but not ready to harvest, this is when foraging comes into its own, nettles, sorrel, wild garlic are all available this time of year. This book gives some lovely recipes other than just nettle soup.

I was delighted to find out that in this cookery book it makes reference to Wild Food, one of my all time favourite books. What can I say, it catalogs all food able to forage, give a lovely description, has countless recipes, and the photography is enchanting! This is a foragers bible.

Although I do love Wild Food I think it is also really important to mention Hedgerow, another fine example but with a very good section on conservation and the law, which is really important when considering picking. This book also has a amazing recipe section too.

So finally I would like to share a hungry gap recipe, wild garlic and walnut pesto. it is in both Hedgerow and wild garlic gooseberries and me, by my effort comes from the latter.

100g of wild garlic leaves
50g shelled walnuts
200ml olive oil
40gof Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

put leaves and nuts into a blender, make a puree, and oil and grated cheese. Put into a jar with a layer of oil as a seal, will last in the fridge for a week.
Give it ago and enjoy.

PS Hedgerow has a amazing looking elderflower (instead of Turkish) delight, this is on my list of things to make this year!

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