If you’re going out foraging for ingredients always make sure you know exactly what you’re picking, some wild plants are poisonous. Go with someone who knows what they’re doing or check your plants in a foraging book.
When you pick, don’t take more than you need and make sure you leave plenty behind to regrow. Avoid areas that might be polluted and try and pick above dog height!
This recipe captures some of the plants that contribute to the wonderful sweet smell of summer; a wild take on a classic salsa verde.
It can be made throughout the year, even in the autumn! If Wild Garlic isn’t in season replace it with mustard leaves or bittercress and, if you’re after the garlicy taste, add some crushed garlic.
These are all rough quantities, it’s up to you how much you pick or add. When you are collecting your ingredients have a bite so you get to know the leave’s distinct flavours.
A handful of each:
1. Soak all of the leaves in fresh water with a cup of vinegar added – to cleans them.
2. Dry the leaves in a salad spinner (or, give them a good shake).
3. Chop the leaves as finely as you like. You can put them in the food processor and blitz them, but the best texture comes from hand chopping.
4. Add the leaves to a bowl,
5. Pour in enough vinegar to make the leaves ‘wet’ but not drowned – about 250ml (if you have leaves floating in a pool of vinegar, you’ve probably added too much).
6. Add a few glugs of oil – stir the mixture together.
7. Start adding sugar, tasting along the way – you want to get to a sweet and sour balance that you like; and finally season the mixture with salt if you feel it needs it.
8. Put the salsa verde into a covered jar, pop in the fridge and use within a couple of days.
Probably one of the least prescribed recipes you’ll ever read but Liz is firmly of the belief that sometimes you have to use your taste buds rather than a book!