When I first arrived in Granada in the middle of January a few years ago, I quickly started spotting common mallow (Malva sylvestris) growing all over the place, often forming wide sprawling mats of greenery on the edges of farmland and even inside the grounds of a ruined castle.
I remember hearing years ago of someone making a ginger cake but using hogweed seeds instead of ginger – it has been so long I don’t know who came up with the idea, but I finally got round to trying it out and the result is delicious.
Juniper is famed as the principal ingredient in gin, which is named after the French for the tree genièvre. Although claimed by the British for their own, it began life in Belgium when juniper was added to mask the harsh flavour of a 50% strong spirit, and add a medicinal benefit. From this simple beginning
While exploring ideas for wild plant based cocktails to serve at the end of a private foraging course, I came up with this recipe for a foraged tonic water that has the added bonus of being a great non-alcoholic drink on its own. Based on willow bark as a replacement for cinchona, it can be gathered and made in about an hour, and keeps well if you want to stock up on a batch.
A recipe for a complex, strong, palate cleansing digestif, made from fennel grappa & sweet cicely syrup.
A brief history of cocktail bitters and the medicinal plants that make them. First printed in the book Kew’s Teas, Tonics and Tipples. According to its most basic definition, a cocktail is simply a mix of two or more drinks, one of which contains alcohol. This simple premise proves to be an endless source of intoxicating concoctions…
Nettles embody the vitality of spring – their small leaves pack a powerful sting and are filled with a whole range of vitamins and minerals, as well as being high in fibre and proteins. They are traditionally used as a spring tonic, providing a nutritional boost after a winter diet of dried meat and grains.…
Many people assume there is little wild food to be found in the winter months, but if you know what you are looking for there are still some tasty pickings to be had. Though the choice may be more limited it is still great fun to explore the apparently bare landscape and see what survives…
Although we are having another reluctant summer there is still a great range of herbs, flowers and vegetables to take advantage of this time of year.
I cooked up this dish back in February when the snow and frosts were making foraging rather difficult. Walking in my local park in London the only plants that seemed to have enough foliage for me to take a little bit were Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) and Crow garlic (Allium vineale).