GREEN is the colour I miss the most not the whole winter but toward its end ; February, specially if the sun didn’t come out as often as it should and after the snow started to melt and everything around us is grey and brown. The streets are full of sand and even the dissapering snow gets this ugly fading white or even grey. The days get longer , the temperature starts rising but our body is tired and sort of worn out from the winter. That is the time we need to get a lot of colour in our everydays life.
I keep buying tulips and daffordils and I start hunting for first edible wild plants, searching every little patch without snow and looking for the first edible flowers and leaves, to use in my dishes.
Wild plants are the first you can harvest in our (central europe) area; way before any other cultivated vegetables. This is one of the reasons I started to use them in my kitchen.
The second reason would be the taste. Actually all the cultivated plants at one point arrived from the wild plants and getting to know them, you recognise the similarity in the taste. However the aromas and the taste of the wild plants are much more intense, but you need to harvest them at their young stage because most of them get pretty hard after some time.
The third reason I got into this was fun and a challenge. I have always loved to walk in the forest and across the meadows, and now I do that with my eyes open, alwasy trying to spot a new plant.
In this blog I will share some of my recepies using mainly wild plants as well as cultivated. This blog is not about teaching you how to identify, recognise and spot wild plants,it is about using them in the kitchen. To learn what is what you will need to use literature or take a workshop.
Here are a few important facts about using wild plants in the kitchen:
- Use and eat only plants of which you are 100 % sure that they are edible
- Never pick all the plants at one spot, leave so much that they can grow further
- Do not pick plants near the streets or areas which might be contaminated and wash them before using
My goal is to inspire you to go out for a walk with fresh air, taking in the beauty of the nature that surrounds us with open eyes, all whilst doing some excercise by picking wild plants.
Recipe – SORREL CREAM CHEESE SPREAD
Let us start with the COMMON SORREL ( Rumex acetosa)
Sorrel is a plant that grows on meadows wild, but you can also have it in the garden.
I remember when I was a little girl, we used to play the whole day outside . Spring days would get realy hot sometimes and we would pick the sorrel leaves and chew them when we were thirsty.
They have a very refreshing acid taste similar to rhubarb, coming from the same family. However, you can eat the leaves until the plant starts to flower. They get bitter after that. You can harvest the cultivated sorrel the whole season, as long as you cut all the steams with flowers.
The leaves can be used for soups and sauces or added to salads. It’s sour taste comes from the oxalic acid which is midly toxic.
My favorite dish with sorrel is A SORREL CREAM CHEESE SPREAD. It is made in a minute, you can serve it for breakfast, apetizer or just to impress your guests.
200 g fresh cheese
200 g fresh sorrel leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
Put all ingridients in blender and blend until you get a smouth texture.
Serve with spelt or buckweat sourdough and garnish with thin sliced sorrel leaves or wild edible flowers.
Use it fresh because it gets bitter after 12 hours.