If you are new to foraging, then you might want some easy recipes to go with those first plants that you’ve picked and let’s be honest, most of us start out with the most easily recognisable species. Therefore I will share with you some recipes that you can make with them.
5. Nettle Soup
- 1 carrier bag full of nettles, washed and stalks discarded,
- 1 onion,
- Garlic to taste,
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed,
- 1 litre of hot chicken or vegetable stock,
- Salt, pepper and cream to taste.
In a saucepan, fry off the potatoes, onion and garlic until the onion starts to soften and the potato begins to get crispy. Chuck in the nettle leaves with the stock and give a good mix. Allow to bubble for around 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Pop the soup in a liquidiser and then add cream, salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with bread, or freeze without the cream, once cool, for later use.
4. Cherry Pie
Make, or buy, yourself a nice pie crust. In a pan chuck roughly 2 cups of halved and stoned cherries. Add about 1/2 a cup of sugar, or to taste, and a small splash of water. Heat the saucepan gently and bring your cherries to a gentle boil, then allow them to simmer until they are soft and sitting in a rich, thick sauce. Pour into your pie crust and cook according to the instructions for the pastry.
3. Apple Butter
In a big saucepan pop roughly 450g of cored and quartered apples, any kind, with approximately 1/2 cup of water. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the mixture looks like applesauce, making sure to stir occasionally. Remove from the heat and pass through a sieve. Add roughly 1/2 cup of sugar, more to taste if needed, and 34 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger and 1/4 tsp of nutmeg.
Then place the pulp into a smaller saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly for a couple of hours, or until the butter is thick enough so as not to fall off the spoon when it is turned upside down. Pop the butter in sterilised jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Self -sufficiently gorgeous!
2. Elderflower Cordial
I literally take my elderflower heads and carefully remove any obvious bugs, then I pop them in a big bowl or pan. I add a few slices of lemon and pour over hot, but not boiling water. Then I leave the mixture to steep for a couple of hours.
Then I strain through a clean towel and taste it, it usually needs some sugar adding, so I gently heat the cordial on the hob and add sugar to taste, sometimes a little squeeze extra of lemon juice, if needed. Then I bottle it whilst it’s hot, in sterilised bottles.
1. Blackberry Jam
Pop a saucer in the freezer. Take your blackberries and weigh them, then weigh out the same amount of caster sugar. Make sure your blackberries are washed and then pop them in a heavy bottomed pan with some water, there should be around half the amount of water to the weight of the blackberries, and add the peelings from one or two apples. Bring them to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the sugar, stirring well. Bring back to the heat and simmer gently.
Once the sugar is completely dissolved, take your saucer and pop a little of the jam onto it, pop it in the fridge and check it after a couple of minutes. If it has set, then pour the hot jam into warm, sterilised jars and process. If not, then keep boiling. You may need to add some more apple peelings and sugar, but it will eventually set. Enjoy!
What do you think of my recipes? Do you have any favourites of your own? If so, why not pop a comment below and tell us about them?!