Local food foraging

Once you learn a little about wild food, a country walk becomes much more exciting - food for free is a satisfying prospect. On my walk today, I found all kinds of edible items in the hedgerows and woods, however, I only brought home the best tasting ones! My favourite foraged food is wild garlic - ramsons. It grows in damp woodland, in shady areas under the trees. It has large broad leaves and sports beautiful tiny white flowers. You often get a whiff of its garlicky pungency long before you actually spot it. I like to turn it into pesto by whizzing it in a blender with olive oil , sometimes adding grand padano cheese. It's also delicious when the leaves are chopped into a tomato salad and the flowers look fabulous sprinkled on top.

My second favourite wild edible is Jack-By-The-Hedge or garlic mustard. To me it tastes similar to rocket with that slight peppery-ness, plus an added garlicky element too. It's easy to spot in hedgerows as it is a lighter brighter green than many of its neighbours. It has pretty heart-shaped leaves and little white flowers at the top of the stem. Pick just a few young leaves from each plant and add them to a salad. Traditionally it's used in a sauce to accompany fish, but I haven't yet tried that.

In the image, Jack-By-The-Hedge is at the top and ramsons are at the bottom.

Hey pesto!

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