I promised I would put up the recipes we talked about on our Foraging Walks on Saturday and Sunday during the Wexford Food Festival. If you are really interested in doing some more foraging yourselves, get a good Flower Book and start to enjoy the amazing world of wild herbs, flowers, berries and nuts. Or come on a foraging course with us. Next one June 13th
Remember if you are not sure ,do not attempt to eat!. The motto is If in doubt leave it out. These recipes are lovely simple ones for you to enjoy.
Blackstairs Ecotrails Recipes May 2015
300g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm chunks
100g onions, finely chopped
100g leeks, chopped
1 litre Veg. Stock. Home made if possible.
150g young nettle leaves, use rubber gloves and strip leaves from stems . Then chop finely.
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the potatoes, onions and leeks and season well. Put the lid on the pan and cook over a gentle heat for 5 minutes until soft but not coloured.
Add the stock and boil until the vegetables are cooked, about 10 minutes. Put in the chopped nettle leaves and simmer uncovered for another 4-5 minutes until the nettles are soft and wilted.Liquidise in a blender. Season to taste and serve immediately. Serves 4-6
A small basket of Violets
2 egg whites
Caster Sugar as needed
A small flat paint brush
A wire rack for drying
Only use perfect Violets
Take each flower and remove he stalk and any green material at the base of the flower.
Make sure the flowers are completely dry.
Beat the egg whites until frothy.
Have your caster sugar on a saucer at the ready and your egg whites.
Grip the base of each flower and ‘paint’ back and front with the egg white. Dip the brush into the caster sugar and paint each flower, making sure the surface of the flower is fully coated with the sugar. You can use a sugar shaker to cover any missed bits.
Carefully place each flower base side downwards on the wire rack. Dry in a warm place. E.g. near your oven or a hot press.
STORE THE DRIED FLOWERS, INTERLEAVED WITH TISSUE OR WAXED PAPER, IN A BOX OR WIDE NECKED JAR.
Beech Leaf Gin
Pack an earthenware or glass jar about nine tenths full of very young Beech leaves. Pour gin into the jar, pressing down the leaves until they are just covered.
Leave to steep for a fortnight.
Strain off gin which by now will have caught the brilliant green of the leaves.
To every 500 ml (1pint) of gin add approx 300 g(12 OZ) sugar more if you like your liqueurs more syrupy dissolved in 250 ml(1/2 pint) of boiling water and a dash of brandy ( optional).
Mix the warm syrup with the gin and bottle when cold. Store in a dark place.
Wild Garlic Bread
Mash a tablespoon or two of finely shredded wild garlic into 100g or so of softened butter, and use as you would any other garlic or herb butter – to make garlic bread by spreading it through the middle of a bisected loaf (then rebaking it for 15 minutes in a hot oven) .
This is good with salads, pasta dishes or at lunchtime with a bowl of soup
Hawthorn Turkish Delight
1 Cup of Hawthorn Flowers (no stalks)
20g leaf Gelatine Vegetarian type if possible from good Health Food Shops
700g Granulated Sugar
30g Icing Sugar
Juice of two Lemons
A few drops of Rose Water
3 tbsp Vodka
Soak the Gelatine leaves in a shallow dish of cold water. In a heavy based pan, heat gently and dissolve the Sugar, Lemon juice in 200 ml of water. In a bowl, mix 100 g of Corn Flour 100 ml of water until smooth, stir into the sugar syrup and return to a low heat.Squeeze the Gelatine to remove excess water, and then add it and the Haw Flowers to the mixture and whisk until the Gelatine has dissolved. Bring the mixture very slowly to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring almost constantly.Remove once the mixture has clarified a little and become gloopy. Stir in the Poitín and Rose Water leave to cool for 10 minutes.Mix 30g of Corn flour with the Icing Sugar, to make a ‘dusting powder’.Line a shallow baking tin with baking parchment, fill with mixture and dust.
Leave in a cool place until set. Once cooled, place in the fridge for a few hours until it become slightly rubbery. Cut the Inis Turk Delights into cubes with a knife and dust with the remaining dusting agent. It should keep in the fridge for 3 – 4 weeks.
www.blackstairsecotrails.ie Mobile 0872707189 @whiteecotrails