With lockdown continuing we are always on the look out for new inventive ways to reduce our visits to the shops. We are incredibly lucky to have the space around us that allows us to forage from the land without leaving the farm.
Today I visited our woodland to take advantage of one of my favourite foods to forage – wild garlic. It grows in abundance along the edge of our woodland. It is not a plant I would want in my garden – too invasive and, well, too garlicy!
With today’s harvest I made a pesto. It was not following a standard recipe as I wanted to use only items from my own store cupboard and so adapted it to fit what was there. You can do the same. I have marked items that are easy to vary.
150g wild garlic leaves
60g Cheddar (if you do have parmesan this would be the traditional cheese)
1 tbsp lemon + 1tbsp lime
50g nuts – I used a mixture of cashews and peanuts but traditionally this would be pine nuts
130ml olive oil
Roughly chop the wild garlic leaves.
Place all ingredients except the oil in the blender and blitz.
Slowly incorporate the oil whilst stirring, until you are happy with the consistency. Taste and season to your own liking.
We sealed the pesto in a kilner jar for use for lunches. It will last in the fridge for two weeks (but never does in our house!).
With most of our forest garden planted last winter we are at the settling in phase, there is much work with no anticipated outputs for this year. Except we had a welcome surprise last week!
An Elder (Sambucus nigra) had self seeded itself on the edge of our forest garden and was smothered in flat heads of small creamy-white flowers. We could not resist such a harvest, so washed out a number of bottles and picked the flower heads to make a batch of elderflower cordial.
This also enabled us to make use of some of the lemons on our lemon tree (not from our temperate forest garden but from our passive solar house where they thrive), and it felt great to include all fruit from within walking distant – result!
Was it nice? There is nothing better than eating food harvested from your own garden. Looking at the lemons still on our tree, and with a party this weekend, we are going to have a go at producing more cordial at the weekend using the pink flowers on our sambucus nigra “black beauty”. Has anyone tried this? Does it turn pink?
ur hedges are full of Cobnuts at the moment and we’re in competition with the squirrels to make the most of this harvest.
Cobnuts or hazelnuts are delicious when de-shelled and lightly roasted to bring out their sweetness. We’ll often do just that but there is so much more you can do with them, like this delicious Crab apple and cobnut stuffing recipe I made this weekend and batched up to freeze.
The recipe below is sufficient to make 5 family meals worth but you can change the quantities to make enough for an individual meal:
20 fresh sage leaves
6 slices of bread (we freeze our crusts for this purpose)
10 crab apples
200g of hazelnuts
salt and pepper
Finely chop the onions and sage and gently fry with a little rapeseed oil until cooked.
Shell the hazelnuts and lightly roast in the oven for 5 minutes then lightly chop
chop up the bread and apples then mix all the ingredients and season to taste.
We love this with roast pork and crackling. Take some of the fat from the roast about half an hour before the end and roast the stuffing.
Let us know what you think :o)