... tasty flavours from the wild ...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Sea beet or sea spinach

Sea beet also known as sea spinach or scientifically Beta Vulgaris marina is a leafy seaside plant with glossy leaves that can growth up to a meter.

They can be found close to the sea and on top of cliffs.

This is not just edible. It is really very tasty.
If you are British you will probably be happy to eat them as salad or boiled. But there is more than boiled vegetables when it comes to food.
You could cook them with omelettes (frittata) or make a simple spaghetti sauce. In this case boil them and then fry them with some olive oil, garlic, chilly and a couple of anchovies.
I used them for a Risotto with stinging nettles, zucchini flowers and sea spinaches.
As for all risotto fry half onion with butter and then add the nettles and the spinaches. Let them cook for a few minutes. Then add some dry withe wine, the rise, the stock and the flowers. Cook it for about 20 minutes adding the stock if required and add some parmigiano reggiano.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Zucchini flowers

Are zucchini flowers wild enough? Well you can't buy them at Tesco, and you can get them free at most "Pick your own" farms or in your vegetable garden. So to me they are wild enough.
Zucchini flowers of course grow on zucchini plants in US and on corgettes plants in Britain. Zucchini is an Italian word and corgette is French, so it makes me think that they are not original from the Anglo-Saxon world.
You should find the flowers during the summer seasons. Take care to only pick the male flower.
Do not expect the male flower to have beard and attributes. You recognizse it because does not grow on the corgette but directly from the plant as clearly shown in the picture.
Cut the flower at the base of the stem which is also edible.

Gently wash them in cold water and remember to remove the stame which is very bitter.

The best way of eating them is to have them fried as a side dish. The are not just ok!, they are delicious!!

Wild garlic

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Stinging nettles