Recently I bought The Little Veggie Patch Co’s guide to Backyard Farming. It’s a beautifully inspirational book, to give me some basic ideas about when to plant what. Each chapter shares ‘what to plant’, ‘what to harvest’, ‘what to cook’, an activity such as; growing plants from cuttings or making tomato sugo, and a ‘backyard farming how-to’, for example; keepings bees or herbal teas.
One of those backyard farming how-to’s, is the idea of foraging in the neighbourhood. They suggest to trying an eating only foraged food for a day. After watching so many episodes of River Cottage, I was excited to give it a go, maybe not a whole day but definitely try to forage a little more.
On our drive home from having a coffee with a friend, we stumbled across a dried up salt lake and having just run out of salt, this was the perfect time to begin our foraging adventure.
We collected a full drink bottle of salt and as it was still a little wet, we put it into the food dehydrator over night to dry it out a little more. Once it was dry enough, we put it into a plastic container and into the cupboard it went.
We have been using it on everything!
The second thing we foraged was samphire. It’s a salty edible plant that grows along the coast. My brother, who is an apprentice chef, claims he hates this stuff, it’s fiddly and the latest craze ingredient. But I was interested to try anything that we could forage locally.
So I picked a small sample of it, googling as I picked, to check that I had the right thing. I was cautious of not knowing how to use it, or even of it being disgusting. J had planned to cook this tart for dinner, using potatoes from the garden. I was excited for him to add some samphire. It was the perfect addition of salt to the dish. If you look really hard you can see tiny spots of green, we were pretty apprehensive to add too much without knowing what it was like. Next time we’ll definitely add more.
Have you ever foraged for ingredients?