Heat oven to 200, lightly oil baking dish and line bottom with garlic leaves. Add fish fillets and top with salt,pepper, chopped Coriander, zest of limes (after zesting cut limes into wedges, serve with fish)Dot with butter and top with remaining Garlic leaves. Cover the dish with baking parchment and bake 15-20 mins till fish is just cooked.
I served this with Sweet potato baked with Wild Leek pesto and a salad of Wild and garden greens, Corn salad, Sorrel, Cardamine, Beetroot leaves and young spinach.
Late February is letting us know that spring is in the air but there is plenty of cold weather about too.Here is a very easy soup using the year’s earliest foraged greens, a real warmer and very good value.The basic recipe is Vegan and gluten free but you could adapt to serve with grated mature cheddar, crumbled feta or even bacon or ham chunks, also if you can mix wild greens a some frozen peas.
400 grms potatoes, cut into cubes, skin on or off as you like,
30 grms (1cup) fresh wild leek leaves,snipped
30 grms (1cup) fresh wild nettle leaves,
30 grms (1cup) small young ground elder leaves,
2 liters organic stock,
Good sprig Thyme, 3 Bay leaves,
Organic Atlantic sea salt, Black pepper,
Splash of olive oil or sunflower oil,
In a heavy pan warm the oil,add the potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes, add all the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook gently until potato is softened.
Remove the Thyme sprig and Bay leaves and blitz the soup with a stick blender, taste, adjust seasoning, serve with a scattering of wild gorse blossom or topping of your choice, Creme fraiche; a little feta;grated mature Cheddar; croutons etc.
Pack this if you’re off hiking or foraging or on the sideline cheering on your little champions, Enjoy.
February 3rd and a very chilly snow sprinkled morning,the ground is too frozen for foraging so it’s a day for baking, using some store cupboard foraged ingredients, something sweet methinks, though sugar free.. I will use some of my store of Hazelnuts and a dash of Beech Leaf Liqueur in a cake which will be wheat and dairy free and I will also make a spread from raw Cacao soft avocados and sweeten with Xylitol and/or Agave syrup, maybe add some milled Hazelnuts to that also.Xylitol is derived from Birch trees so even though I did not gather and process, it is a wild ingredient.
Shelling your own Hazelnuts is slow, wrap nuts in a tea towel or clean cloth and bash with a rolling pin, you will get to know just how much force to use so as to crack the nuts but not crush them.Then you can toast them carefully and rub off the skins, blitz in blender, in batches till fine.In the recipe I use 300grms of hazelnuts but you could make from a mix of Hazelnuts and Almonds.
Hazelnut cake with Beech Liqueur drizzle .(wheat, dairy and sugar free)
Oven 175 degrees; 20cm round springform cake tin, oiled and base lined with baking parchment
300grms Ground Hazelnuts,
Half teaspoon of baking powder.
5 medium organic eggs.
Tablespoon of Agave syrup.
1 shot of strong espresso,
1 shot of Beech Leaf Liqueur.
In a bowl mix almonds, hazelnuts and baking powder.
Beat eggs till pale and add agave slowly with mixer on slow speed, when well mixed gently fold in dry ingredients, to combine taking care not to overmix and loose volume.
Pour batter into prepared tin and bake at 175 degrees for 20 mins, insert skewer into center of cake to test and bake a little longer if needed.Cool in tin for ten mins and then remove from tin. When cooled place a circle of parchment over top of cake, invert carefully and peel off parchment cake was baked on, turn cake right side up onto serving plate.
Combine espresso and Liqueur and drizzle over cake.
If you like dairy you can also serve with whipped cream or Creme Fraiche laced with a little more Liqueur.Or use dairy free yogurt.
If you want to omit alcohol you could serve with Elderberry syrup.
It’s a wild and stormy day out,perfect for staying cosy and baking for Christmas. I will be making Christmas cakes, fruit is soaking in Wild Beech Liqueur. I’m making a delicious wheat free cake from ground Hazelnuts, which goes in freezer. It will be soaked in Wild Beech Liqueur before serving maybe with pears or a coffee drizzle.
Then I have some Vodka soaked Damsons to use…. I’m thinking dark chocolate, truffles or maybe a rich sauce for pouring over good ice cream. Even Damson Vodka ice cream with the damson bits in it!! Better get busy.
Any ideas for recipes very welcome, in cooking, cocktails, hot or cold.
Here is the recipe for Spiced Elderberry Cordial, you could also use Blackberries. This was a big hit with wedding guests at Roundwood House recently along with the Nettle and Lemon Balm cordial.
The Elderberry or Blackberry syrups a re delicious on ice-cream, with yougurt, in a smootie, as a hot drink even with hot port or used in sauces with Venison.
Elderberry syrup, spiced.
1 litre of Elderberries stripped from their stems,
3 star Anise,
Half kilo sugar,
1 litre water,
2 teaspoons Citric acid, optional.
Put Elderberries and water into pan and bring to a boil, boil for 5 mins. Strain pressing all juice from berries, rinse pan and put in the juice, sugar and spices and return to boil stirring to dissolve sugar. turn off heat and allow to cool a little, stir in Citric acid if using and bottle in sterilized bottles. I use small bottles and keep the syrup cool as it does tend to start fermenting due to relatively low sugar content and short cooking time, which is great for flavour. In any case do refridgerate after opening, Enjoy.
Nettle and Lemon Balm Cordial.
You may find it strange to be posting a nettletop recipe in October but if any nettles have been cut down earlier in the year they will now be putting out fresh growth perfect for using in this recipe wich also make use of the last of Lemon balm from the garden.
2 litres nettle tops,
1 litre Lemon Balm,
1 and half kg sugar,
1 lemon, zest and juice,
2 limes, zest and juice.
Desertspoon Citric acid.
2 litres water.
In a stainless steel pan bring water to boil, put in Nettle tops and return to boil, boil 2 minutes and turn off heat. Add lemon Balm leaves, cover and allow to in fuse for an hour.
Strain liquid and retun to the pan with sugar, heat again stirring to dissolve sugar. Add the lemon and lime, zest and juice. Turn off heat and allow to cool a little before stirring in Citric acid.
Bottle into streilized bottles and store in a cool place or fridge.
Good as hot or cold drink in Gin, Vodka or white wine.
it’s time for flowers, Beautiful Rosa Rugosa with their heady scent and of course Elderflowers, but don’t limit yourself to cordial, you could make a simple ice-cream from Elderflowers and today I baked a rose cake to serve with the ice cream, here is the recipe. It’s gluten free
ROSE CAKE 15grms of fresh Rosa Rugosa petals, teaspoon of rose water, 200grams of ground almonds, 4 eggs, 75 grams of unrefined caster sugar, half teaspoon of gluten free baking powder.
Line the base of a round 20cm cake tin with baking parchment and oil or butter the sides.
Heat oven to 175 degrees cent. If you are using a mixer such as kitchen aid whisk the eggs together but if using a hand held beater you will need to seperate eggs and beat yolks and whites seperately, adding half sugar to yolks and half to whites.The beaten egg white is added last. Mix baking powder with ground almonds, stir into beaten eggs (or egg yolk) add sliced petals and rose water, spread in 20cm cake tin and bake for about 25 mins till skewer comes out clean. cool and serve with a few fresh berries and crystallized rose petals and ice-crem.