A Foraged Feast

Foraging with Rachel Lambert

I love the idea of free food.

However, I’m not talking about the free dinner variety, but another kind; the sort of fare that’s free if you know where to find it.

It started practically in infancy. I’d have been too young to remember the first blackberry I tasted, but from a toddler I was hooked. In memory they were always fatter, sweeter and juicier than those that grow in my adulthood. From the end of every August, my sisters and I would range for miles along lanes in the quest to pick them. We’d search in woods for the fallen hazelnuts missed by squirrels or look out for ‘fairy-rings’ in fields for mushrooms. As teenagers, we’d go on more daring apple scrumping raids from pony-back. Standing in stirrups to reach over the walls into hidden orchards. Then, in my twenties it turned to gorse flower picking. A gallon of golden coconut-smelling flowers patiently picked from prickly bushes would make the most divine sparkling wine. Now, I make elderflower cordial from my mother’s recipe that my children adore or occasionally pick samphire off the cliffs and sauté it with some butter as a summer vegetable. Yet, the sum of what I know it just the tip of it. There’s so much more besides…

If you don’t believe me, let me wet your appetite with the menu from Hotel Tresanton Wild Food Weekend held during Cornwall Food & Drink’s Spring Feast fortnight at the end of March.

Friday Dinner:

Pennywork and scurvy

Wild garlic soup

Fal scallops, wild sorrel, Alexander and pancetta

Kestle farm beef fillet, black mustard, three cornered leek, cavolo nero and rosti potato

Chocolate soufflé, rosehip sorbet and wild carrot seed biscuit

Saturday Dinner:

Razor clam, gut weed, sea lettuce, laver

Red mullet, limpet, ox-eye daisy, sea radish and scurvy

Sea bass, rock samphire, steamed cockles, sea beet and oar weed

Dandelion crème brûlée, gorse flower sorbet

Pine and mint infusion


Sunday Lunch:

Wild garlic gnocchi with nettles

Chickweed salad with grilled pear, wild chervil, pennywort and buffalo mozzarella

Cod with black mustard, rock samphire and steamed mussels

Gorse flower panna cotta with Hogweed biscuits

I’d tell you more but I’ve written it up for Cornwall Today magazine you’ll have to read the whole experience in the May issue.

Gut weed

 

 

For more information:

Rachel Lambert: www.wildwalks-southwest.co.uk who is a brilliant foraging teacher and guide

Hotel Tresanton: www.tresanton.com Were so lovely to me. After the foraging walk they invited me to stay for  the evening meal and gave me a bed for the night.

It is just as the Independent says “If there is any more elegant hotel in Britain than Olga Polizzi’s
Tresanton on the Cornish Coast, then I have never been there”

Pepper Dulse

Rachel Lambert

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