Wild Garlic, Swiss Chard & Lemon Cream Linguine

My favourite park is abundant in wild garlic at the moment and I used my outdoor exercise allowance yesterday to take Dolly out on a walk and collect some.

I also had some swiss chard from last weeks veg box delivery so came up with this very easy and oh so delicious wild garlic, swiss chard and lemon cream linguine recipe!

Serves 2

Ingredients

I bunch swiss chard

1 small bunch wild garlic (about 10 leaves)

1 small onion, chopped

1 carton vegan unsweetened cream (I actually only had Alpro in the fridge which is slightly sweetened although it was fine because the lemon took away the sweet taste)

Juice from 1 lemon (3 tbsps lemon juice)

1/2 pack linguine

1 tbsp vegan spread/butter

Salt

Pepper

Method

Put water on to boil in a large pan for the linguine (you could use an alternative pasta)

Remove the stalks from the swiss chard and chop them in to small pieces like the onion.

Chop swiss chard leaves and wild garlic.

Place linguine in the pan of boiling water foe about 15 mins or until cooked.

Melt the vegan spread in a pan.

Sauté onion and chopped chard stalks for around 5 minutes or until the onion starts to become transparent.
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Stir in chard leaves and wild garlic.
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Pour in cream and add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
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Turn heat down and let simmer for 5/10 mins until the chard and wild garlic wilts and your linguine is ready.
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Drain Linguine

Serve

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Remember, when foraging, only take what you need, pick from different spots and leave enough for others and for wildlife.

Elderflower & Raspberry Tofool

I’ve been at it again, foraging that is, this time out on a dog walk along the canal near 3 Mills Studios in East London where an abundance of elderflowers grow.

You’ll need to be quick if you want to find some as they tend to bloom late May / early June.

Elderflowers are poisonous in large quantities unless cooked so do be careful and also be careful to make sure it is actually an Elder tree you’re picking from as the flourished look very similar to that of numerous other trees and plants that you really don’t want to eat!

Check The Woodland Trust guidelines if you’re unsure.

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2017/05/identify-elderflower-and-how-to-use/

Always follow the rule where you try a little first . . . With that in mind, I hope you enjoy this Summery dessert.

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Serves 4

Ingredients

1 elderflower flourish (literally a quarter of what is in the above pic, elderflower is strong so you don’t need much)

300g of soft silken tofu

250g of raspberries

1 lemon

100g of caster sugar

Method

Juice the lemon.

In a pan, heat the raspberries, (keep a few out for garnish) sugar, elderflowers and lemon juice until the raspberries melt in to a jam.

Put the tofu and raspberry/elderflower jam in to a blender, blend to mix.

Divide in to 4 small dessert bowls.

Put in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.

Serve

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Foraging

There really is something immensely satisfying about foraging, finding your own wild food and what better way to eat organic seasonal food than to get it from where it grows naturally.

Growing up in Norfolk, I was always picking plums to eat on my way home from school and in the Summer holidays, blackberries to take home for my mum to make in to a crumble, and fresh peas from the farmers field (that technically might class as stealing rather than foraging, probably best not to do that) to snack on straight from the pod.

Another favourite past time was going strawberry picking, granted it’s not really foraging as you had to pay per punnet but you’d always manage to eat about as many as you picked along the way and then even after my mum had made jam, we still ate strawberries for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next few days.

Living in London, it’s still amazing what you can find. Parks, wooded areas and riverside walkways are all great for foraging.

I went out to my local park this week with the dogs and stumbled across a patch of fresh mint, I picked a few sprigs and used them in a pea & mint soup, a zesty summer garden veg pasta dish and fennel, broad bean, courgette & mint risotto.

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Tips for foraging

  • Always try a little of your find first, just to make sure it agrees with you.
  • Only pick what you need, wild food is a source of food for wild life, birds and insects, you don’t want them going hungry.
  • Keep in mind that dogs do pee up against trees and bushes, pick from up high and always wash your finds thoroughly.
  • Be careful with mushrooms, a lot of the edible ones look almost identical to the poisonous ones.
  • Take a guide book to help you identify what you’re collecting.