Shipley Park yesterday afternoon was perfect for a bike ride to blow away the cobwebs along with the last of my cold. Plenty of ingredients for a spring salad – starting of with chickweed, sweet and plentiful, a handful of early hawthorn leaves, some cow parsley (be sure of your identification at this early stage), a handful of dandelion leaves – the newer and less toothed the less bitter, some hairy bittercress adds a pop of flavour, as does wild garlic and garlic mustard (jack by the hedge) add to this some chopped early hogweed stem, a few gorse flowers – adding a splash of bright colour (do they taste of peas or coconut?).
Most walks urban or countryside will provide a variety like this, enough to make an interesting mixed leaf salad with far more taste and vitamins than anything you can pick up in the supermarket.
Happy New Year everyone! Over the past few years – December and January have been far too cold for wild food, but not so today. Today was a very mild day for this time of year, if a trifle windy and a bike ride into Derbyshire was very much enjoyed.
I was quite surprised to find the floor of a woodland that we cycled through still covered in Wood Sorrel leaves – not the fresh green of new spring leaves yet, but still a refreshing lemony snack. However, further along the route, on the grass verge of a minor road, I found fresh growing chickweed flourishing and looking very tasty indeed!
I am very much looking forward to a year of foraging and will keep you posted on what’s available in the big outdoors.
I was lucky enough to get a couple of days in the North Yorkshire Moors – the top left hand corner where it is nearly the Lake District, and unlike home in Derbyshire where it has been very dry and all the grass is parched and brown, the fields were lush and green like spring – it didn’t quite rain on us, but it was a ‘bit damp’!
As I tramped about in the hills I was amazed at the amount of chickweed, all fresh and green and just like spring, we were cooking on an open fire (beautiful simple camp site) so I could easily have gathered and cooked it very gently for just a few minutes (better if I had been able to add some chopped spirng onions or chives) with a little butter (no water) and just a squirt of lemon (or some sorrel if you find some of that as well)