Tag: alexanders

Wild Alexander Seeded Bread Recipe

Wild Alexander Seeded Bread Recipe

Alexander seeds are one of my secrets. Okay, so perhaps a secret I’ve shared with a few people. Even so, it’s a lesser known wild spice that goes unnoticed by the majority of folk. I call it a secret because even if you bite into […]

A Day in the Life of a Forager

A Day in the Life of a Forager

It always feels odd arranging to meet a stranger in a car park. Though that is where I met photographer Rick Davy at the start of my working day. I was on a mission to collect a specific green, and I said to Rick that […]

Foraging: Free Gifts, Freely Given

Foraging: Free Gifts, Freely Given

It’s a fresh winter morning and I am sitting watching the sky lighten and the day begin. I am just sitting, doing nothing, while the day is offering nothing less than a performance. Blue sky starts to peek through, charcoal grey clouds move slowly in front of me, then disintegrate. White gulls glide elegantly past, squawking, and I just sit here. I feel alive and in awe of these gifts being freely given to me.

Rubus fruticosus

How to Freely Receive

Receiving gifts is an active participation, a choice and as I breathe in these gifts from nature, I feel exceptionally grateful and alive. Just walking out into nature is a constant reminder to me of the abundance of life, the vitality in the earth, if I just choose to receive.

Here in winter I’m surrounded by nutritious greens of alexanders, tentative nettle tops, fluttering and healthy looking violet leaves. I see how rock samphire shoots push through, despite the increasing coldness, how sea spinach faithfully remains throughout the year. I taste the mild oniony flavor of three cornered leek, and receive the nutritious gifts from all these wild greens.

 

Countering the Buy, Buy, Buy of Consumerism: Simplify

As the year turns towards Christmas and the media urges towards buying, consuming and wanting, I want to simplify, to focus on giving and receiving. To share walks with strangers, friends, family, animals and nature herself. To enjoy the simple things of life; make good memories, love better, share good food, have a laugh, feel touched by things that matter.

Crithmum maritimum

Foraging as Giving and Receiving

I receive so much from nature, and I hope I give back in my appreciation and through passing on a some simple guidelines of foraging ethically. Foraging in small amounts, taking just what we need, no more, no less. Guidelines I highlight in my environmental policy too.

I hope I also give through sharing my foraging skills and experience, through offering an opportunity to understand and value nature even more. Together, finding ways to reduce our impact and celebrate what we already have.

Many farmers, land owners, garden owners even, are grateful too, to have so-called ‘weeds’ (or wild food) removed. Just ask them first.

allium triquetrium

The Gift of Foraging

If you’d like to give the gift of foraging to another, to yourself or to your family, I offer a range of gift vouchers. The gift of foraging is yours forever, if you choose to receive it. Timeless, never ending and can be shared with friends, family and strangers, freely – as often as you want.

Winter Creamy Alexander Soup (vegan)

Winter Creamy Alexander Soup (vegan)

I’ve just returned home from a winter foraging course where we covered 10 wilds that you can pick here in Cornwall through winter. I love foraging in the cooler months and there’s a great choice of wild pickings too. I’ve written about and sung the […]

How and Why to Cook with Alexanders

How and Why to Cook with Alexanders

The Romans valued the plant Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) highly and brought it over with them to the British Isles almost 2,000 years ago to use as a pot herb. It was used widely before celery came into fashion (has celery really been in fashion?!). Celery […]

A Memorable Winter Foraging Menu

A Memorable Winter Foraging Menu

I’m often asked what my favourite time to forage is, well spring is fantastic, though honestly, winter is becoming an increasingly wonderful time to forage. The quiet, the abundance of plants and the unexpected joys of finding food (not in the supermarket) this time of year.

 

 

On January 2nd myself and a small group of friends went foraging, our task; to simply enjoy the outdoors and gather a few ingredients for supper, which we’d then share together, and that’s exactly what we did. A big thank you to Sara Pozzoli for joining us and filming us. Here’s the menu;

 

Winter Foraging Menu

Spelt Bread with Alexander Seeds

Salsa Verde with Rock Samphire, Pepper Dulse and Three-Cornered Leek

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Alexanders, Sea Spinach, Gorse Flower and Coconut Curry

Yoghurt Dressing with Three-Cornered Leek, Black Mustard and Wild Chervil

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Chocolate and Haw Berry Jam Cheesecake

 

 

My Five Top Spring Wild Foods

My Five Top Spring Wild Foods

Spring is exciting – a combination of warmth and light gets plants, animals and human-animals going. Sometimes, for me, too going. The term mad march hare feels too close to home for me, as I prance around the hedgerows picking wild greens as if there […]

Forage and Cook: Alexanders

Forage and Cook: Alexanders

A quick and quirky video on Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum)      Let me show you more tips, share more recipes and tasters on my Wild Food Foraging Courses. Most spring courses include Alexanders (greens), and late summer and autumn courses include the Alexander seeds/

A Hearty Snack – Savoury Alexander Muffins

A Hearty Snack – Savoury Alexander Muffins

I love muffins. Easy to cook and more substantial than bread. They’re also versatile – you can add almost anything (sweet or savoury), and so tasty you can just eat them on their own. I like them as an afternoon snack while working at the computer, or a pocket-sized snack to take out on walks with me.

I first made these for a winter/early spring foray I led. It was a cloudy, non-discript kind of day, and these provided a hearty snack and comforting moment for us all, amidst the bleak Cornish landscape. It’s true – the right snack can uplift any walk, whatever the weather.

The young shoots and leaves of Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) start popping up through Winter and early Spring and are perfect for many snacks, including savoury muffins. Once identified correctly*, Alexanders are easy pickings in a Cornish winter – abundant, a good size and many a land owner are happy for you to pick this plant as it is often considered an invasive weed.



Alexander Muffins

These more-ish muffins have a hint of wild, nutritional  Alexanders  in them, which is complimented nicely by the olive oil and dab of mustard. They could easily be made vegan too.

 Ingredients (Makes 12-15)

100 g wholemeal flour

175 g organic plain flour

1 tbs baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp Cornish sea salt

100g fresh Alexanders (leaves and young leaf stems)

350 ml milk (dairy or soya)

1 tbs lemon juice

2 eggs, whisked

1/2 tsp strong mustard

2 tbs good olive oil

4 tbs vegetable oil

100g finely grated parmesan (optional)

Pre-heat the oven at 200°C and oil muffin tins or small cake cases. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt). Roughly chop the alexanders and stir in.

       

Measure out the milk and add the lemon juice, leaving it for a few minutes for it to sour a nd thicken slightly. Break open and whisk in the eggs, mustard and the oil and pour into the dry mixture, stir in thoroughly before distributing between the muffin h tins or cake cases.

       

Each tin should be generously filled and sprinkled with parmesan on top, if using. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove onto a cooling rack and enjoy on their own as a hearty snack.

*Alexanders are a member of the umbellifrae or carrot family, in which there are poisonous cousins. Only pick and use this plant if you are 100%, and I mean 100% certain you have found the correct plant.

Alexanders and Three-Cornered Leek Frittata

Alexanders and Three-Cornered Leek Frittata

Spring has been creeping in, in some places slowly, and other places fast. The telling signs of birds carrying nesting material, lighter mornings and the fresh green plant life in the landscape all help us soften and brighten as Winter is left behind. If you’re […]