Foraging for fun
The weather is getting better and it looks like Spring has sprung so what better a time to get out and forage. Wild garlic and dandelions also grow freely near us so as an excuse for getting some fresh air, we went to pick some goodies.
Mind where you pick
In Scotland, the "right to roam" is enshrined in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. This permits residents to use all land, public or private, for recreation, education and access with a few restrictions - such as behaving appropriately and not for commercial purposes. A copy of the act can be found here: legislation.gov.uk/asp/2003/2/contents
Know what you are picking
Make sure you have identified your plant correctly or you might have a trip to the hospital.
Pick in moderation
It's not just us who like wild garlic or dandelions etc. Birds, insects and many other animals enjoy a munch as well. Take some, but leave plenty behind.
Wash before using your gathered goodies.
Avoid low-level picking on pathways
Whether it's pesticides or pollutants or just how high a dog can pee, think about picking in areas that aren't regularly annoyed by humans.
What do you need to forage?
Foraging is an easy hobby. Some bags to carry your foraging, Canvas or jute bags seem to be the best, as fruit won't get sweaty with condensation if it is a warm day. Take some tubs with you as well; if you are picking different kinds of plants it will help keep them separate. A pruning knife will help remove any tough plants and any thorns, other than that the only tool you will need is some kitchen gloves to protect your hands from stinging nettles or thorns.
Where to find Wild Garlic
Wild garlic loves the wet ground, so it loves growing around where we live! Often found growing near streams and rivers, and especially in older woodland. The flowers add a flourish to salads as well as tasting good or use simply as a table decoration.
How to make wild garlic pesto
Simple to make and if you a making a vegan version, use nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan cheese. We used hazelnuts instead of pine nuts. Any nuts can be used.
80g Wild garlic leaves
30g Parmesan grated
30g Pine nuts optional (We used hazelnuts as we had some in the cupboard)
3 tablespoon Olive oil
Wash the garlic leaves thoroughly and pat dry.
Put the garlic, Parmesan, pine nuts and oil in a blender and blitz until smooth.
Then add the lemon juice plus salt and pepper to taste.
Place in a jar, top with oil to keep fresh in a fridge, or you can freeze it and snap chunks off to use in dishes such as pasta.
Wild Garlic Pesto
- 80 g Wild garlic leaves
- 30 g Parmesan grated
- 30 g Pine nuts optional We used hazelnuts as we had some in the cupboard
- 3 tablespoon Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Wash the garlic leaves thoroughly and pat dry.
- Put the garlic, Parmesan, pine nuts and oil in a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Then add the lemon juice plus salt and pepper to taste.
- Place in a jar, top with oil to keep fresh in a fridge, or you can freeze it and snap chunks off to use in dishes such as pasta.
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