Tag: wild plant food

Wild food supper

We recently had some friends in the field (pun intended) over for a wild food supper.

I thought I’d share with you some of the dishes we ate.

But first the prep. Gathering ingredients for wild foods is fun and adventurous and sometimes a little crazy.

Like surfing for our seaweed, or in this case, climbing up a ladder to collect the dried Strelitzia nicolai flowers towering overhead. You can eat the fresh seeds raw and the dried ones can be ground up and used as a flour. Just remember to leave more than you collect.

Strelitzia nicolaiStrelitzia nicolia dried flowers heads

Then you have to brave the bugs and spiders to find the beautiful golden fynbos pirate treasure inside the very hard seed pods.

Strelitzia seedsStrelitzia n. seeds

The seeds are like little hard black coffee beans with a white inside that can be ground up. The gorgeous orange fluff attached to them is the aril that is also edible. It’s a lot of work for a small amount of flour, but a labour of love is usually delicious!

wild food dessertAgar agar and strawberry brule w. Carissa macrocarpa flower and Strilitzia shortcake

Pictured above on the left you can see the final product…I used the flour to make a shortcake and included the aril for added edible decoration.

So now I will backtrack to the starters. Sorry. Its like reading one of those books that the beginning is in the middle and you start at the end and finish in the future. Confusing and edgy. Exciting and wonderful –  like these sweet and salty seaweed nutsSeaweed nuts

This a super easy, highly tasty snack to make. Whether you are hosting a Rugby Watching Braai or a Canape and Cocktail Soiree, these will go down a treat.

Using freshly washed and rinsed sea lettuce or Ulva, chop up a cup full and toss with assorted nuts. season with sea salt and sugar and pop in the oven on a low heat until the nuts are golden brown and the seaweed is crispy.

Yum.

We also enjoyed oven baked periwinkle and seaweed samoosas

Periwinkle samoosas

Periwinkle samoosasPeriwinkle and seaweed samoosas

Seaweed couscous salad – get the recipe here.

Couscous seaweed saladUlva couscous salad with wild garlic flowers

Never-fail-to-please ruby relish on Bree

Carissa and beetroot relish on breeCarissa macrocarpa berry and beetroot relish topped with Carissa bispinosa berries.

Wild garlic rolls and farm butter

Tulbaghia rollsTulbaghia violacea rolls

These were used to mop up the exquisite juices of the mussels….

Musssels and spekboomMussels in a creamy white wine sauce with garlic, thyme, Salvia chamelaeagnea, Portulacaria afra and whole baby onions.

For dips we had Morogo, Wild garlic and King Protea seed pesto and a Wild sage sour cream

Morogo pesto and salvia sour creamMorogo, Tulbaghia violacea and Protea cyneriodes seed pesto. Sheeps milk sour-cream flavoured with Salvia dentata.

We hope this inspires you to be creative and adventurous with your cooking this year –

Happy 2014!

 

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Tulbaghia violacea

Our plant of the month would have to be Tulbaghia violacea

Common names:

English: wild garlic

Afrikaans: wilde knoffel

Zulu: isihaqa

Image

This amazing multitasking plant is edible, medicinal and a great companion plant for your veggie garden (Insect repelling and attractive to bees and butterflies). It is a bulbous plant (part of the onion family) whose long thin leaves resemble the chives and have lots of pretty mauve flowers at the tip of its stalk. When crushed or even brushed past, it gives off a strong garlicy smell. The whole plant is edible and we use the leaves in stews and salads and chopped up in scrambled eggs and the attractive flowers can turn an ordinary salad into a work of art! Wild garlic is traditionally used to treat fever, coughs and colds (infusion of the leaves and flowers) and well as being an antiseptic and expectorant. The roots can be dug up from mature plants, scrubbed well and roasted or used like normal garlic – but take care with how much you use…its quite strong!

It is a hardy plant that will grow quickly and easily in your garden in full sun and give you flowers on and off throughout summer without needing too much water – what a plant, what a beauty – go plant one in your garden now!