Friday, 3 July 2015

More foraged, frugal and free food ... and some vintage bargains ... !


I'm enjoying foraging at the moment, as well as providing free food it's keeping me occupied.
Today I'd like to tell you about one of my very favourite wild greens, it's Jack by the Hedge, or Garlic Mustard.  I really love this, lightly steamed it tastes like the freshest of spring cabbage.

This is what it looks like growing in the wild:


Apparantly the whole plant is edible, even the stalks which can be chopped and fried and added to stir-fries, the flowers can also be added to salads, they are only tiny, but add a little interest.  I only use the leaves.  I made a pasta bake dish yesterday and added some chopped steamed Garlic Mustard into it before putting it in the oven to brown, a layer of grated cheese made a high protein meal.


I also added a couple of dollops of pesto and it was lovely with a mixed green salad.  The salad consisted of dandelion leaves, baby turnip leaves, assorted lettuce leaves and a couple of the tops from Rosebay Willow Herb, just dressed with a little oil.  A couple of tomato's would have been nice but I didn't have any so did without.


Also in the salad was wild Plantain, here it is soaking in some cold water with the Garlic Mustard, I'll tear the leaves up before steaming.  The plantain can also be used raw in a salad.

 
This is what it looks like growing in the wild:
 
 
Dessert was my own strawberries topped with plain yoghurt and raspberries, red and gold.
 

 
Here are some sprigs of watercress that have rooted, you can just see the roots.  In the absence of a freshwater stream at the bottom of the garden I will plant these in a pot and place the pot in a bowl of water which will be changed every 2/3 days to prevent the build up of any bacteria.
 
 
Do you like the pots ?  they are vintage French cast iron, they have been used and loved and I love them also.  A whole chicken with vegetables will fit into the white one.
 
They're from the local charity shop for only £1 each.
 
Just a word about foraging if you are new to it.  Start with something familiar i.e. dandelion leaves, nettles etc., and introduce a new taste into your diet gradually, i.e. chopped wild green in soup or stews or a pasta dish like I have done.  Leave two days between introducing another 'new' vegetable so your system can get used to it.
Check Youtube for foraging videos, there are some excellent ones on there with loads of information.  They are now referred to as nature's 'superfoods' so don't let them go to waste.
 
 




3 comments:

  1. You are certainly good at foraging and at cooking these wild greens. You make them look good! I just don't trust my judgement enough to try this alone. I do love the cast iron pots!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi H. I do my research before trying something new. Youtube is fantastic for this. I'm eating loads of 'wild edibles' now whilst waiting for my garden plantings to mature. I love that wild foods are so full of nutrition and free !

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  3. Thanks for the foraging tips. The garlicky stuff sounds lovely! x

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