This is the second wild food and drink podcast, look at the links above this text for the first. This month I visit my back yard, Arno’s Vale Cemetery and check out things to do with the tail end of the wild garlic crop with my friend Martin of goforaging.co.uk. We can’t, of course, neglect elderflower, which is in bloom up and down the UK at this time of the year and if that wasn’t enough, I jump on a train and head off to Dorchester to see Dorset based forager James Feaver of hedgerow harvest.
Pickled wild garlic seed
These are great in a whole manner of dishes adding a crunch, a tang and a burst of garlic flavour. The seeds can be picked just after the wild garlic has flowered.
one resealable jar
wild garlic seeds, salt, apple cider vinegar, olive oil.
Fill the jar with wild garlic seeds and pour over salt so that all the gaps in the jar are filled – leave for a week. After one week pour in the vinegar, leave for 5 further days. Strain, put the seeds back into the jar and top up with olive oil.
Elderflower and rose petal tea
A lovely and naturally sweet tea.
Ingredients (for one cup)
2 tablespoons of dried elderflowers (4 tablespoons of fresh)
5 rose petals
a sprig of thyme (optional)
Place the elderflowers, rose petals and sprig of thyme (if using) into a tea-ball or filter tea strainer. Pour over hot water. Allow to infuse for 5-7 minutes. Some will also enjoy adding a teaspoon of honey.
Elderflower, lime blossom and elderflower cocktail
Creamy sea beet soup
This recipe is based on my favourite cream of spinach soup recipe.
2 handfuls of chopped wild garlic stems
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped into squares
450ml chicken of vegetable stock
450g fresh sea beet – washed and chopped
Pinch of crushed alexanders seeds
3 tbsp double cream, to serve
Slowly melt the butter in a saucepan on a medium/low heat. Add the wild garlic stems and fry until softened. Stir in the potato and cook for a further minute or two. Pour in the stock, simmer for 10 mins.
Add the milk and bring up to simmer, add half the sea beet. Cover and simmer for 10-15 mins or until the sea beat has wilted down.
Allow to cool, then blitz up in a blender/food processor with the reaming sea beet. Return to the pan and reheat.
Sprinkle over the alexander seeds (or pepper), stir like mad and then pour in the cream so that it makes that lovely swirl.