Foraging in my eyes engulfs a huge umbrella of hobbies and skills from botany , mycology , medicine , photography , preserving , brewing , making vinegars and general cookery and though I enjoy many of the above it still is an undeniable fact the the number one goal inevitably is to provide us with food .
One thing that becomes quite apparent is that the most successfull foragers have a equal passion for food experimentation and are continually searching for exciting new flavours and textures within wild ingredients but what really gets my attention is when the most abundant and commonly found wild ingredients are used in a way that pushes previous culinary thinking .
In the last few months I’ve seen sushi made from all manner of wild delights , sea buckthorn toffee , seaweed salted caramel slice , pepper dulse and nettle seed crackers , winter chanterelle soup with scarlet elfcaps , cep and mugwort cream tarte ,marmalade with processed birch polypore , nettle and dock balls with bittercress mayo , a mass of wild fermentation and some intriguing wild brews with J R Tolkien worthy names like braggot and gruit . My interest in food partners my love for foraging and has defiantly improved my ability to forage my train of thougt often starts with possible edibility and quickly turns to how can I use it and more importantly what other edibles are at hand that I can use with them to create a dish .
It’s obvious to me that without the skill set or more importantly the imagination to utilise your finds foraging becomes a pointless exercise as regards to food , making jams , preserves and pickles are great ways to incorporate wild ingredients into your home but as your skill as a forager increases as do the offerings finding themselves in your basket for me any way that wild food can be incorporated into any household is fantastic but my main reasoning behind this post is to show some of my favourite meals that incorporate my foraged wild ingredients .
Blackberry roulade with melilot infused cream
A simple Victoria sponge with fresh blackberries .
A bitter bog myrtle curd meringue with a cambium pastry base .
Wild apple cake with agrimony spiced crumble topping
bullace crumble flan made with haw berrie flour
Saffron milkcap quiche with smoked bacon lardons
Wild mushroom pâte , cotw , slippery jacks and blushers
Giant puffball covered in oats and honey and fried in bacon fat
Traditional blackberries and apple pie
Pearl barley salad with clementine segments,pickled ransoms,nettle leaf & sliced beefsteak drizzled with almond oil
Sweet chestnut and coco torte with a rum infused base
Haw flour sponge with dehydrated Bullace soaked in rum spiced with agrimony flowers and love in a mist seed
12 varieties of wild mushroom in a garlic and thyme and elderflower wine sauce
Wild mushroom strudel
Pearl barley salad with 3c leek , hairy bittercress,dandelion,hedge mustard,crow garlic,scarlet elf cap and velvet shanks
Hogweed seed infused pastry & Mahonia blossom custard sweetened and bittered with polypody root
Elderflower fizz Tempura battered butter bur pods
Blackberry Cheesecake with sweet woodruff infused cream
Monkfish tail with wilted orache pickled radish pods and chanterelles
wild gooseberry tarte wild greens paella with steak ,ramson buds and steamed salsafy buds smoked wild rainbow trout with sorrel and fried bull reed shoots garnished with mallow flower
Baked fennel stuffed trout with potatoes fried in horseradish oil and steamed burdock stem garnished with broom flowers
Pan fried pheasant breast with honey roasted pignuts and a wild garlic and nettle lasagne .
I hope maybe some of my ideas get your own imagination going and I look forward to seeing your results most importantly foraging can be more than a salad or green soup .