As an example of the kind of thing I’ll be showing (hopefully) lots of people tomorrow, here’s a salad I made yesterday using ingredients foraged on a walk that lasted slightly longer than an hour:
From left to right; top to bottom:
Ground Elder, White Dead-Nettle, Yarrow, Primrose leaves/flowers
Cleavers (aka Goosegrass), Dandelion, Gorse flowers, Sorrel
Chickweed, Hairy Bittercress, Bramble (Blackberry) Shoots, Ribwort Plantain
All are edible raw, but as an experiment I tried steaming them all together for just over a minute, thinking this might make more nutrients available by breaking down cell walls etc.
Then serving straight away with a little olive oil drizzled over the top:
Not all of the plants responded well to this. Gorse and Hairy Bittercress all-but lost their flavour (especially a shame with the latter), the bigger leaves went just a little too soggy for my liking (Sorrel did its usual blanching thing, retaining its nice sour flavour though). On the other hand I think the bramble shoots could’ve done with a little longer. Yarrow, Cleavers, Chickweed and (most of all), Ribwort Plantain benefited most from the process, at least as far as my taste buds were concerned. The whole dish gave me stacks of energy though, which was felt mostly by some poor guy innocently wheeling his bins out when I body-checked him at practically full pelt, running home down the hill(!) … ::gulp:: Sorry mate!
Another potential benefit of steaming would mean I could include Stinging Nettle in the above mix (heat disables the stings). As it happens I ran out of them making the promised soup:
Ingredients: 1 onion, 1 potato, some nettles, fried in butter & oil (nettles added only for the last couple of minutes):
(I added some garlic and half a chopped carrot for good measure.) Then pour approx 1.5l boiling water over the lot and crumble in a stock cube:
Simmer for 20mins-1/2 an hour, then finally blend with one of those wand thingies and you’re done:
I forgot to add salt and pepper. Crème Fraîche is a nice addition at the end, too. Also my soup was a bit watery, which could be solved (I’m guessing) either by adding less water or by putting in more nettles or other veg.
Do this: it’s good for you!