Tasty and nutritious wild plants that may be encountered on the foraging walk include: rock samphire, sea spinach, sea radish, nettles, ground elder, a range of seaweeds & ox-eye daisies, common hogweed* and chickweed.
Here are some recipes you might want to try. Correct identification of species is of paramount importance so if you are not sure, please take expert advice.
Handful of chickweed leaves**
Large leaf of sea radish
1 little gem lettuce
Wild flowers to decorate (gorse, tree mallow, dandelion petals, sea radish)
Soft Cornish goats cheese
50ml Olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove crushed
1 dessertspoon honey mustard
1 tbs wild capers
Salt & pepper to taste
Rip the leaves up & place in a salad bowl, crumble in the goats cheese, then mix the salad dressing & pour liberally over the salad. Enjoy as a starter or accompaniment with a main meal.
** Chickweed (Stellaria media L.) is a small, versatile ‘weed’, commonly found in fields and flower or vegetable beds. So called because chickens like to eat it. It is rather tasty for such a humble looking plant, rich in vitamins & excellent as a base or addition to salads. It also goes well in omelettes.
Laver, Salmon & Sweet Potato Quiche
1 sweet potato, diced
200g cooked laver seaweed
2 medium onions thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
300g short crust pastry
150g flaked cooked salmon
1 small head of broccoli flowers
200ml double cream
Salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 230C .
Dice the sweet potato place in tin, toss in olive oil & roast for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 160C.Whilst roasting; heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Sauté the onions for 25 minutes until they turn brown & soft. Remove from heat. Lightly grease a tart tin or baking dish. Roll out the pastry to 3mm and line the tin. Line the pastry case with baking parchment & fill with baking beads before blind baking for 30 minutes. Remove the beads & bake for a further 10 minutes. Scatter the onion on the bottom of the pastry & top with roasted vegetables & the flaked salmon. Scatter chunks of both cheeses. Whisk the eggs & cream together in a bowl with salt & pepper & pour this mixture into the case. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling sets & rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Laver (Porphyra umbilicalis) is an iron rich, tasty seaweed traditionally used to make ‘laver bread’ - a Welsh dish mixing cooked laver with oatmeal & bacon, fried off to make savoury cakes enjoyed for breakfast.
*Common Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)