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Monday, 5 April 2010

Weekend of walking, nettles, wild garlic & EATING!

Well, the weekend has been quite mixed in terms of weather with lots of rain on Saturday & luckily enough a glorious day on Sunday. I walked 5 miles with my housemates across muddy fields with the sun in our eyes ... I even took my jacket off & walked in a t-shirt! Spring has officially arrived in my book. The bluebells will be out in a few weeks & the leaves are densely coating the floor of the woods already ... it's going to be quite a wonderful sight. I can't wait. We made lots of nettle soup this weekend - soooo yummie & great for iron (I'm always in need!) We picked 3 bags full from a nice dog-free spot near my part-time home in beautiful Sussex.

Here's our recipe:

Nettle Soup
1 bag of stinging nettles (pick with gloves or have numb fingers for 2 days!)
Wash. Bring to boil big pot of water. Add & cook for 3 mins.
Drain out. Keep the water & drink it - super tasty & super nutrient rich!

1 White onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
Glug of olive oil
Saute all together till soft.

Add wilted nettles.
Add approx 100ml cream*
*I make my cream from kentish cobnuts in Autumn & freeze in pots ready for use. You can use oatcream, soya cream or normal dairy cream. My housemates used double cream from our nearby farm Plaw Hatch Community Farm.

I'll post the cobnut cream recipe on another post!

We also picked some wild garlic and added some
washed leaves at the end finely chopped - was BEAUTIFUL! Wild garlic can be found anywhere near water - usually up the banks next to streams as you can see in this photo above.

We ate the rest as part of a fresh locally-picked salad of mizuna, rocket, chevril, baby spinach, mustard.... dressed with this tasty recipe:

Mustard, honey & smoked rapeseed oil dressing
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp local honey
1 good glug of oil (I used smoked rapeseed but could use olive oil or anything you have in)
Splash of apple cider vinegar (will post my recipe soon)
Pinch Salt
...& lots pepper!

We were also lucky enough to get a HUGE box of organic tomatoes that were headed for the bin as a few of them were broken & squishy... many thanks for these to lovely 'Dave in the woods' aka Harvest Supplies, Chuck Hatch. Added these to salad and made the rest into passata. Yum.

Right, off out to tap some birch trees for sap - that'll be my next post! Going to make wine & also reduce the sap down to make a syrup for cake baking!
Lisa x