Friday, 16 July 2010

Wild food window box

Imagine just stepping outside your door and being able to conjure together a fresh wild food salad. Well, with this wild food salad window box you can do just that.

I took a group of Dorset toddlers on their very own wild food hunt to create their own wild food window box. We didn't even leave the garden. Armed with tiny trowels my little hunters marched up and down the garden in search of wild food yummies to dig up and plant. The mud went everywhere, much fun was to be had and at the end of the day each child enjoyed an omelette with a side helping of Dorset wild food garden salad! Perfect.

Here's how to make your wild food salad window box. Fill window box with good garden earth. Then use a decent reference book to hunt around the garden for wild food surprises. Look out for daisies, dandelions, jack by the hedge, sow thistle, yarrow, bitter cress, lambs leaf lettece,wintercress and chickweed. Carefully dig them up and plant them in the window box, water and wait for 2 weeks before picking the young leaves. That way the plants will have time to perk up a bit.

EtvoilĂ ! You now have fresh salad to hand anytime you want it and without having to buy those expensive bags of salad from the supermarket.

Here's another very tasty way to use your salad leaves.

PUREED Dorset wild food salad and PEAS (OR POSH MUSHY PEAS)

1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves or a large handful of wild garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 large breakfast bowls of wild food garden salad, chopped
2 tablespoons water
200 g frozen peas, thawed
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, thyme, mint or parsley

Melt the butter then add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring until softened. Add the salad and water, and simmer, covered, until the salad wilts, about 3 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook until they are heated through. Coarsely puree with a blender, and transfer the mixture back to the pan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring, until heated through and then stir in the salt, lemon juice and herbs.

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