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Forage of the Month - a Challenge

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  • Forage of the Month - a Challenge

    The idea is that, each month we choose an easily identifiable and findable wild plant to forage. We pick it, prepare it and compare recipes and opinions.
    Feel free to suggest plants - not fungi or anything which risks being confused with anything poisonous - or the Mods will be complaining, and you know what they're like when roused.

    For March - I suggest Nettles. We all know a nettle when it stings us!

    Roger Phillips in "Wild food" suggests that nettles are best colleccted when they are no more than a few centimetres high. Wear gloves and cut the nettles with scissors; strip the leaves from the stems and wash well.

    I've made nettle soup with onions, potatoes and stock, liquidised.

    Roger Phillips suggests Nettle beer - which only needs a week from picking to drinking. It needs 100 stalks so I don't think I'll make it!

    Anyone joining me??

  • #2
    Yep...I'm up for it ... I will try and find what you suggest!

    Nettles should be easy enough, and I love nettle soup!

    Nice thread
    "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

    Location....Normandy France

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    • #3
      Nettle beer has got my interest. Especially if it only takes a week.

      ( yes, I know! I'm going against everything I've just said in another thread .
      I'm complicated )

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      • #4
        Count me in - nettle soup, when we lived in Sweden they all made it.

        What month do we get the elderflower champagne (that isn't champagne unless you live in the specific region of France, protected status and all that )

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        • #5
          What a great thread.
          How about creamed nettles, I can vouch for it as a tried and tested dish, easy to make and tasty.
          Follow any recipe for creamed spinach, I favour German-style recipes and tend to be heavier on the garlic and have a scrape of nutmeg to serve.

          If the nettles are a foot tall use only the top rosette of 5 or 6 leaves and pick before May or the leaves might contain oxalic acid crystals which can lodge in the kidneys. Point to note here also, nettles are diuretic so maybe don't eat them the night before a long journey or visit to the cinema Nettles picked after May have a strong laxative effect.
          Location ... Nottingham

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          • #6
            Nettles have a lot of old traditional uses, I believe they can be used in "Dock pudding" and in omelettes, Colin Mabey's book talks of making a puree for use in Nettle Haggis amongst other things, he likens the taste to similar to pea pods.
            If I'm not on here, I'm probably fishing.
            Gardening in the NE of Scotland

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            • #7
              Dandelions can be used this time of year, the older leaves might be best used like spinach
              If I'm not on here, I'm probably fishing.
              Gardening in the NE of Scotland

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              • #8
                I wonder whether we could post recipes on here too VC?
                "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

                Location....Normandy France

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                • #9
                  Of course we can post recipes, Nicos.
                  All the more the merrier.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by burnie View Post
                    Mabey's book talks of making a puree for use in Nettle Haggis amongst other things, he likens the taste to similar to pea pods.
                    I made my own nettle tea once but it tasted just like pea pods
                    Location ... Nottingham

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                    • #11
                      Nettle soup requires some Cornish Yarg, cheese wrapped in nettles, what's not to like (unless you go for the wild garlic wrapped Yarg of course)

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                      • #12
                        Come on you lot, what happened to the monthly forage, you missed the wild garlic though there is still some around.

                        We have though entered the season or the Elderflower, unmistakable with its heady smell of wee later in the day and sweet smelling flowers in the morning!!

                        So who's up for some Champagne, fritters, or cordial?
                        I'm only here cos I got on the wrong bus.

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                        • #13
                          We've been waiting for you to come back, Mikey. Nice to see ya.

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                          • #14
                            If this has tempted your taste buds perhaps you'd like to try some of these easily identified plants.

                            Blackberry leaf tea, very good for sore throats, and bad breath so maybe take some to work for that colleague you're not quite capable of telling to suck a mint!!!

                            Garlic Mustard, coming to the end now but, looks a lot like nettles with a single stem and a delicate white flower head but no spikes you can eat it straight off the plant though it does have a strong raw garlic undetone... so better sweated with a little butter and rubbed onto some toast.

                            Hairy Bittercress, maybe swap the rocket for this in your salad, saves chucking it on the compost.

                            Hawthorn Leaf and Flowers, these make an interesting addition to a salad, a slight apple undertone to the flowers and young leaves.

                            Lots more to come next month
                            I'm only here cos I got on the wrong bus.

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                            • #15
                              While I remember for those of you further south you might also have the delicate fronds of meadowsweet out, with me it's more the end of this month, obviously don't pick on the roadside but footpaths that are less dog friendly is a good start. The leaves taste a little of cucumber and the flowers smell faintly of almonds, the flowers though make a lovely summer sorbet.
                              I'm only here cos I got on the wrong bus.

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