Dinner Menu for a Sunny April Evening

Another beautiful day. I’m really getting used to the sunshine. This evening I’m cooking for my daughter Eve and her hubby Eoin. This is a healthy, vegetarian meal that will of course feature some wild finds as well as fresh garden produce.

The star of tonight’s dinner is the wonderful morel mushroom, locally foraged yesterday evening. These are so delicious I will be preparing them very simply. I am also whipping up a wild nettle frittata and we are sampling vegetarian puddings from demadfoodcompany.  These will be followed by some wheat and dairy free rhubarb crumble.

Let me know if you try out these recipes. Comments and suggestions always welcome. Instagram users please unload photos using the hashtag #wildfoodmary


Wild Nettle and Potato Frittata

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1L Jug loosely packed with fresh nettle tops, cleaned and roughly chopped

8 Eggs (I’m using a mixture of free-range duck and hen)

4 medium Rooster Potatoes, cooked and sliced

2 Cloves Garlic Crushed

1 Medium Red Onion, Chopped

Oil or butter for frying

* You can of course make your own additions like peas, peppers, feta or your favourite cheese. 

Method (10 Minutes)

Heat your oil or butter in a large frying pan. Add onion and garlic. Sauté gently for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the nettle tops, cover the pan and allow to wilt for a few minutes. Add the potatoes and other vegetables if using. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and pour over the potatoes. Allow to cook until beginning to set. Now is the time to add your cheese. transfer your pan to a hot oven or finish under the grill to cook the top until starting to brown.

Morels with Truffle Oil

These delicious mushroom must ALWAYS BE COOKED. I am adding some extra flavour with white truffle oil, a gift from Italy. It can be purchased in Italian and other good food shops. This recipe is so simple that the real challenge is in finding the wild morels.

Ingredients

Morel Mushrooms (however many you can manage to find)

Sprig of fresh Thyme

Butter for frying

White Truffle Oil (A few drops for serving)

Method (12 Minutes)

Begin by roughly chopping the morels. Heat the butter in a frying pan. Add the morel mushrooms and fry for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and thyme. Remove from the heat and serve with a drizzle of truffle oil.

Wild Food Mary’s Rhubarb Crumble

My son-in-law Eoin has a serious soft spot for Rhubarb so I’m delighted to be serving up this dish from the years first cutting. This recipe is wheat and dairy free. I am also using xylitol instead of sugar. You can also use agave or honey. Cooking the base and crumble topping separately ensures a delightful crunch. They can also be stored separately keep well in airtight containers.

Ingrediets

For the Rhubarb Filling

4 Stalks Fresh Rhubarb

100ml water

1 capfull vanilla extract

xylitol to taste

For the Crumble Topping

60g Coconut Oil

200g ground Almonds

100g fine Oatmeal

Handful of mixed dried fruit (optional) 

1tsp mixed spice

zest of 1 orange

xylitol to taste 

Method (30 minutes)

Preheat your over to 180 degrees. Begin by preparing the crumble topping. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment. In a bowl mix all of your topping ingredients except the coconut oil. Use a teaspoon to scoop in little lumps of coconut oil. Lightly rub in the coconut oil  until you have a crumb consistency. Spread the mixture out on the baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven, give it a good stir and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until it is golden brown.

While the topping is cooking you can prepare the rhubarb filling. Chop the rhubarb. Bring the vanilla, water and xylitol to the boil. Add the Rhubarb, cover and cook gently for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook your rhubarb. It’s nicest when it keeps a bit of its’ shape.

Spoon rhubarb mix into a glass and cover it with the crumble. Enjoy!

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Nettle and Blackcurrant leaf Cordial

1 liter of nettle tops (packed loosely in measuring jug)

2 litres of blackcurrant leaves

1 kg unrefined sugar

1 teaspoon citric acid (optional)

Citric acid is used to improve keeping time if you wish to store your cordial for a month or so.

Put leaves into saucepan with 2 liters of water and bring to boil, boil for 5 minutes, cover and allow to infuse for few hours or overnight. Strain and return the juice to saucepan, reheat and when warm add sugar, stirring to dissolve, bring to boil and boil for 5 minutes, turn off heat and (if using) add citric acid. Stir to dissolve, Bottle.

Please note, this cordial is made with short cooking time, nettles love to ferment so keep in fridge or cold place and use within a month, easy to make a new batch and you can use Lemon Balm leaves or lemon to flavor.

Enjoy diluted to taste with water, sparkling water or even in a spritzer.

Nettles have a high protein and calcium content, also betacarotene and lots of vitamins.

Nettle Tops

Gorse blossom wine

Gorse wine recipe

Gorse wine fermenting in demijohn

Two and half litres of blossom,

Five litres of hot water,

Zest and juice of two lemons,

One kg sugar,

Half kg raisins,

One sachet of white wine yeast.

Method:

Pick blossom on dry day, put blossom, water and sugar into white plastic bucket, stir and allow to sit for a week, stir every day and push the blossom down into liquid. strain out blossom and put liquid into demijohn, add yeast, airlock and leave in warm place to ferment. The wine should ferment rapidly at first and then slow down with a build up of sediment in the vessel. Carefully siphon wine from sediment after about two weeks and rinse out the demijohn. return wine to demijohn and allow to continue fermenting until fermentation in complete. You can add a campden tablet at this stage but I prefer to keep the wine additive free. Bottle and leave 6 months before drinking.

(recipe adapted from Peggy Hutchinson’s homemade wine secrets)

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