Are you hosting a dinner party or brunch anytime soon? Maybe you are looking to make something a little different for your Friday night treat? Our Caramelised wild onion and nettle dip is the perfect addition to any cheese board or platter of chips for any occassion. It is super simple, delicious and packed full of nutrients.
Wild Onion grass
1 handful of dried nettles
1 large onion
1 tablespoon of sugar
Salt and Pepper
How to Make your Wild nettle Dip
Put a knob of butter in the pan and heat it on a low heat
Slice the onion finely and add it to the pan
Add your sugar next and leave to fry gently
Combine your chopped up dried nettles and onion grass
Add these to the pan and stir
Remove from the heat, place in a bowl and stir in your sour cream
Add some chopped parsley and a teaspoon of worchestshire sauce
Serve this up with some homemade crackers (try our curly dock crackers here) and cheese.
Are brownies one of the most popular treats today? I will admit that I am not much of a baker. Cooking is my calling and I love to work with food but I find the strict nature of baking, where you have to measure every ingredient carefully, too restricting. So when it comes to baking recipes I need easy to make ideas that will allow that extra room for flexibility if I decide to put in an extra spoonful of chocolate. These wild curly dock brownies turned out to be super simple and super tasty.
1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup of ground curly dock seeds
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
200g of Dark chocolate
Chocolate Orange Buttercream
3 Tablespoons of butter
1 Cup of icing sugar
1 Teaspoon of Cocoa
3 Tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice
Orange zest sliced thinly
How to Make Your Brownies
Preheat oven for 20 minutes.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper or tinfoil. Beat the sugar and butter together until it is light and fluffy, add the eggs and mix. Leave to the side while you prepare the dry ingredients. Melt 1/2 the chocolate over a hot pan and leave it cool down. Fold into the wet mix.
Sift the dock seed, flour, baking powder and cocoa power together.
Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Spread mix in lined baking tray.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until centre comes out clean with a knife.
Getting to know Curly Dock aka Rumex Crispus is the perfect way to start a love affair with wild green leaves and wild seeds. It is a native plant in Europe and Asia but can today be found in agricultural land across the world. As one of the five most widely distributed plants in the world it is strange that we don’t find it is use in many areas.
Perhaps it is overshadowed by its edible cousins Buckwheat and Japanese knotweed, the Curly dock gets left on the shelf. As a medicinal plant it has been used as a laxative, to treat blood diseases and to treat jaundice.
Is Curly Dock Edible?
Nearly every part of this commonly found plant is edible; the stem, the leaves, the seeds and the root are used in different ways.
Where to Find Curly Dock?
Curly dock isn’t fussy when it comes to its habitat and where it chooses to grow. You will find it on shingle beaches, roadsides and walking trails. It also grows in wet conditions, hence why we have so much of it here in Ireland. The leaves can be found all year round.
There are many myths that suggest rubbing dock leaves on a nettle sting will relieve the pain. Although there is no scientific evidence to prove this actually works, there is something soothing about using nature to cure any natural stings or bites.
In the summer and early Autumn the seeds start to appear on the dock leaf stems. They will turn brown and get lighter in weight.
How to prepare dock seeds?
The seeds should be harvested in late summer when they have turned brown. Simply use a knife or clippers to cut the seeds from the curly dock stems. Then gently pull the seeds from the stem while holding it over a large pan or bowl. You can either wash them gently or sift them through a sieve to remove any bugs. Finally use a pestle and mortar or a coffee grinder to blend the seeds into a fluffy flour mix.
The seeds are gluten free for anybody looking for a wheat free flour. Be sure to store the dock flour in an airtight container.
Dock Seed Recipes
Curly Dock Crackers Recipe
If you are looking for a simple snack recipe then curly dock crackers are easy to make, nutritious and full of flavour.
1 cup of ground curly dock seeds
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of Dried Thyme or Rosemary
Wild Seed Mix
You can use this wild seed mix to add a spoonful of natural nutrition to your meals. We hand pick and dry out all of the seeks on a tray and combine an even amount of each one.
Curly Dock Seeds
Now that you know all about Curly dock seeds you can keep an eye out for them the next time you are out for a walk. Let us know if you have any curly dock recipes to share too, we love swapping notes.
This is a super easy and super delicious wild recipe that you bake over and over again. One batch a month is probably enough but in the summer months wild onion focaccia recipe goes well with any main meal.
For the Flavour
1 large handful of Wild Onion chopped finely
1 small bunch of wild garlic chopped finely
3 cloves of garlic grated
Fresh herbs chopped finely (we used rosemary and thyme)
1 Cup of Olive oil
Pepper and Sea salt
For the Dough
1 packed of dry fast acting yeast
2 1/2 cup of flour
A teaspoon of salt
Putting the Ingredients together
Add all of the flavour ingredients to a pan and pour over the olive oil. Leave this heat gently. Once the oil is infused with all of the ingredients leave it cool down.
Add the yeast to a cup of warm water. Mix in 1 cup of flour and leave for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes add the salt and the remainder of the flour. Now you are ready to add half of the oil mixture to your dough. Knead the dough 20 times and put into the fridge for 1 hour.
After an hour, remove the dough from the fridge, roll it out roughly (you don’t want to flatten it completely, just make a nice bulky rectangle). Now pierce holes all over the top of the dough with your thumb, pour over the rest of the infused oil and put into the oven for 25 minutes at 160 degrees.
Whip together a few homemade dips, wild garlic hummus or just a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
A simple, wild focaccia recipe for family and friends. Enjoy!
This is one of my favourite Spring dishes. Serve them as snacks to impress your dinner guests or rustle them up as a lunch time treat. Our wild samosas will put a spring in your step. We used three of our most loved wild Spring ingredients for these delicious samosas but feel free to get creative and add your own wild herb mix.
Three cornered leak
Salt and Pepper
Step 1. Boil your potatoes and mash them.
Step 2. Add a little olive oil to your pan. Next add chopped garlic leaves, three cornered leak, dandelion leaves, cumin, tumeric, chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Fry gently for 5 – 10 minutes.
Step 3. Add your curry mix to your mash potatoes. Add 1/2 cup of frozen peas and stir for another 5 minutes.
Step 4. Roll out your puff pastry. Turn over a bowl and cut out circles. Cut your circles in half and brush tips with flour and water. Make cone shapes with your pastry and add a spoonful of your samosa filling. Squeeze the sides together.
Today we are cooking tempura battered dandelions, a real Springtime treat. Famous as a garden weed, this yellow headed plant isn’t often noted for its fantastic healing properties but dandelions are a real gift from nature.
They are a natural anti-inflammatory, used in skincare to treat anti-aging and has a long history as a medicinal plant since the 11th century. Dandelions can provide a welcome boost to your immune system in Springtime. All parts of this special weed are edible. Today the root is used as a trendy substitute for coffee.
Try this delicious recipe to add some freshly washed dandelions to your diet.
Tempura Battered Dandelions
What you will need: Freshly Foraged Dandelion heads (aim for between 15 – 20).
1 Large Egg
125 g Plain Flour
250 ml/1 Cup of very cold water or sparkling water
Aioli Dipping Sauce
2 Egg yolks
4 Tablespoons of White wine vinegar
120 ml Olive oil
3 Cloves of Garlic
1 lemon juiced
2 teaspoons of sea salt
STEP 1 Prepare the batter. The key here is making sure that the water is very cold. Leave it in the freezer for a 2 or 3 minutes if you want. Add the egg to the water, now gently mix in the flour with a spoon until smooth.Heat the vegetable oil in a wok, deep saucepan or deep fat fryer to 180’c.
STEP 2 Prepare the Dandelion heads by gently washing them, removing the stem and leaves. Pat them dry before using them.
STEP 3 Before you start cooking your flowers, prepare your aioli sauce. Mince the garlic, mix the egg yolk and vinegar, whisk in the olive oil, add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
STEP 4 Now is the exciting part. Heat a large portion of vegetable oil in a pot or wok. (Note: Never leave a pan of oil heating alone. Stay with the cooker until you are finished). Sprinkle your dandelion heads with flower, dip into the batter and drop into the hot oil for 2 minutes until they are golden brown. Only do a handful each time.
These delicious snacks are a super healthy way to use your recently foraged treats and some of your staple fridge vegetables.
Alexanders are ripe for picking from April to June. These wonderful wild edible plants pop up everywhere. You will find them growing in park edges, forest edges and near coastal regions. It tastes like a mixture of celery and parsley, making it the perfect pairing for stir-fry’s and a lot of Asian dishes. If you are a vegetarian then you will welcome this addition to your vegetable list.
Try boiling the stems and leaves and making a substitute for pepper from the flower heads. The seeds are spicy acting as a healthy addition to your spice rack. You will see that many chefs use the roots, roasting them with a little olive oil and salt (as you would normally do with roasted carrots and parsnips).
Here is our little Alexander recipe for you to try out at home.
Alexander Spring Rolls
Spring Roll Wraps 2 cups of flour 2 tablespoons of corn starch 3/4 cup of very cold water 1 heaped teaspoon of salt Tip: Once you have combined the ingrediants to form your dough leave it to the side for 20 minutes while you prepare your filling.
Spring Roll Filling Finely Chopped Alexender Leave Finely chopped Alexander stems (about a handful) 1 bunch of wild garlic leaves Red Chilli Finely chopped yellow onion Yellow pepper sliced finely Diced cucumber 3 Tablespoons of Oyster Sauce Salt and Pepper
Gently saute the filling ingredients in a hot pan for 10 minutes.
In a small bowl beat an egg.
Now make 8 dough balls from your wrapping mixture. Spend time rolling out each ball until it is as thin as you can get it.
Add the filling to the centre of your wrap.
Brush the rest of the inside with egg to help stick the wrap together and roll them up.
We hope that you have fun trying this wild recipe and sharing your Alexander Spring Rolls with friends.
Do you want a taste of the forest? The fresh air, the wild garlic, the scent of pine, everything about the forest shouts discover and explore. This is exactly what we do when we cook with wild foods and embark on a foraging adventure.
Today we went to the woods and found the most delicious wild greens, fiddleheads, wild garlic, scarlet elf cups and jelly ears. Now we are ready to whip up a tasty bowl of pho to warm us up for the evening.
1 bunch of Wild Garlic Leaves
A few leaves of wild mustard
Cleavers aka Sticky Willies
Mushrooms (any kind will do but we used Jelly ears and Elf cups because we had some freshly picked)
1 large onion
A pinch of cinnamon
Mint to garnish
Now you are ready to put your dish together and this couldn’t be easier. Saute the onion in a tablespoon of butter, add the wild garlic leaves
for two minutes. Now add the ginger, wild mustard and Fiddleheads. Stir gently for 1 minute. Add chili flakes, peppercorns and cinnamon. After another two minutes frying add the mushrooms. Now gently ladle the beef stock over the mixture, stirring as you pour. When your soup mix has boiled add the noodles.
I always have a few crackers on the side.
Now you are ready to serve and enjoy!
If you enjoyed this wild food recipes then you might also like to give our wild garlic pesto a try.
‘Tis the season to be merry and wild. We are always experimenting with wild produce in the kitchen and Christmas dinner side dishes are a fun way to use some of your favourite winter greens.
Roasted Pine & Garlic Croquettes
Roasties and Christmas dinner go hand in hand. In Ireland we have every kind of potato imaginable on the plate. From mash to roasties to boiled to everything in between but by far my favourite are the fluffy potato croquettes. This delicious side dish takes a little bit of extra prep but it is worth every minute. Why not give roast potatoes on a bed of pine or spruce needles a try. This is an easy recipe that has all the smells of the holiday season and the tastes of the forest.
Ingredients: Potatoes, Freshly cut Pine tips, Breadcrumbs, 1 Egg, Flour, Oil, Butter and Sea Salt
Instructions: Wash and Par boil your chopped up potato squares. Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees. Melt two large spoons of butter in a pan and toss your potatoes into the pan. Lay your pine needles onto the tray. Cover the whole tray if you can. Now carefully place your boiled, buttery potatoes on top. Sprinkle salt and drizzle oil over the top. Enjoy!
Wild Winter Greens
Christmas dinner can often be heavy with stunning, potatoes and all of those carb filled treats. For a light, refreshing side try a wild green salad.
Instructions: Collect your edible winter greens fresh from the land around you. Wash the ground ivy leaves, bittercress, sorrel and dandelion leaves carefully. To prepare the dandelion roots scrub off the dirt and slice into small cubes. Oven bake the roots for 15 minutes. Remove all thorns from your gorse and only use the bright yellow petals. Mix your leaves together, sprinkle the berries, roasted roots and flowers. Add a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil.
Pickled Sea Radish and Red Cabbage
If you live near the coast than you will be spoilt for choice with wild green edibles. Sea Radish is one of our favourites as it is available throughout the year. This simple little recipe provides a tangy taste that goes well with your less fragrant vegetables. It takes a few days to pickle so be sure to prepare this one in advance.
Ingredients: Sea Radish pods, curly dock seeds, red cabbage, peppercorns and white wine vinegar.
Instructions: Wash all of the ingredients gently under warm water. Thinly slice up a 1/4 of the red cabbage in strips. Add all of the ingredients to a large jar and cover completely with the white wine vinegar. Close the jar tight and place in the fridge. Allow the pickling to work its magic for a few days. When you have chosen your cheese and wine, take out your wild pickle mix to go with them. This is a super easy, tasty treat to have as a snack at Christmas time. Surprise your guests and add an extra punch of flavour to your cheese board after dinner.
You will be ready for a true festive feast with these delicious Christmas side dishes. For more wild food inspiration you can find more recipes here.