Monday, 12 May 2008

Finding Food on Hampstead Heath

On Saturday night I cooked dinner for three friends. Nothing very unusual about that except that much of the menu consisted of plants I had foraged that day from Hampstead Heath. Very few people know just how much of the plants that grow wild, and which are sometimes called weeds, are actually really good for you. We spent about four hours on the Heath and learnt about 28 different types of edible plant.

The foraging workshop was organised by the Gaia Foundation and led by Miles Irving, Director of Forager Ltd. We had a great time and my guests and I had a great dinner. Here's Saturday night's menu with the foraged items in bold:

- Mackerel sauteed in olive oil and
Wild Sorrel
- Potato mash with
Wild Chervil (left)
- "Chicken in the Wood" tree mushroom cooked in garlic, butter and lime juice (see below for a picture of Miles harvesting this!)
- Lesser Celandine (see above for a photo of me filling up my rucksack), Lime leaves and orange salad

All washed down with copious quantities of
Elderflower Cordial. I fully intend to go out foraging at least once a week from now on.

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