Welcome to the Forage ‘n’ Feast Restaurant!
Every Friday I intend to post a 3 course menu which will feature in that weeks ‘virtual’ Forage ‘n’ Feast Restaurant. I’ll also list the wild food ingredients you’ll need to forage for over the weekend. Yes, you’ll have to forage for the ingredients and hopefully you’ll join me in putting the meal together for Sunday dinner! No pressure…no pressure at all😘.
If I’m brave enough to try it, I’m hoping you are too. Are you? Come on I’m confident you can do it. I’ll even post pics of my efforts the following week and hopefully you’ll send me yours too…Also, if you don’t want to miss my recipes, don’t forget to subscribe!
Forage ‘N’ Feast Restaurant
The ‘virtual’ Forage ‘n’ Feast Restaurant will follow the same format each week. What I intend to do, is to introduce the menu. You’ll then forage for the ingredients. And together, we’ll cook up a storm in our kitchens. Easy Peasy!!
Don’t worry though, it’s also my intention to post a photograph of each foraged ingredient. Alongside this I’ll show you what you need to look for when identifying the plants etc. So, without further ado lets get started!
Forage ‘N’ Feast Restaurant Ingredients
Chickweed (Stellaria media – Caryophylaceae family) – this wild plant has a very subtle flavour and, to me, it tastes faintly of fresh peas. It’s a common winter weed and may well be lurking in your garden right now! It can grow up to 30cm in height and showcases small, white, star shaped flowers.
Hence one of its other names ‘starweed’… You’ll find small hairs on its stem. And it has small, oval shaped leaves with paired veins running off a central line on the leaf. You’ll find this in many damp habitats. Look for a stringy, delicate plant.
Purslane (Claytonia perfoliata), sometimes known as ‘Miner’s Lettuce’ or Poor Man’s Lettuce’. Found on dry, sandy soils, waste lands and damp, cool environments. I find mine at the beach. The leaves are a vibrant green. And they have quite a unique shape, wide at the bottom and narrowing to a small, rounded end. The Flowers will appear from February through to June and can be white or pink. I took this picture at the beach last week and they haven’t grown much since then. Tastes like a normal lettuce leaf and is lovely and succulent.
Main Course Ingredients
Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea) – In this image the larger, dark green leaves are Ground Ivy, growing in a bed of Purslane, and to the right you can also see some Sticky Willow raising its charming head! This plant does resemble a few other wild herbs, but it’s really easy to identify. Pick a leaf, crush it in your hands and it will smell of mint. You really can’t mistake it. Again, I took this pic while walking the dog at the beach. I found it in abundance in he grassy banks. Any shaded, grassy area is bound to have some ground ivy lurking. Around May it has lovely purple flowers, but they don’t last long.
Gorse Bush (Ulex europaeus ) – What can I say about this wild plant? The likely-hood is that the majority of you know immediately what it is because of the pic! The Common Gorse can be found in many habitats. But I bet you didn’t know it was edible. This spiky little begger tastes amazing. On your walk, grab a handful or 2 and munch on them..the coconut smell and taste will really surprise you! Fair warning, it’s a pain in the backside to pick…Best not let the kids do the picking. No, this is definitely one for the adults. Pinch the flowers and gather them for some pretty delicious recipes…
Where To Find The Recipes
All the recipes are listed on my ‘Forage ‘n’ Feast Recipe page. Go to the page and scroll for each individual recipe. Here’s a handy hint for you… Make the sorbet at lunch time. Then prepare the gin and pine needle liqueur, lemon and lime sauce and pesto. After that, start with the rest of the recipes! As for the pine needles, you can find out all you want to know right here.
I personally plan on foraging for the wild ingredients on Sunday morning and prepping around 4 o’clock, with a view to eating around 6 (ish). Share your plans with me in the comments section below…
I really hope you enjoyed my first ever Forage ‘N’ Feast Restaurant post. And that you’re looking forward to our cooking exploits.
Have a lovely weekend, and don’t forget to subscribe to receive next weeks Forage ‘N’ Feast Restaurant menu and corresponding recipes!
Lots of Love, Susan & Caber