Sunday, 17 May 2015

Our Foraging Feast!

 In my last post I wrote about our delightful foraging adventure yesterday with guide Peter Blush, from Puck's Plenty. (

Upon arriving home mid afternoon- and guests scheduled to arrive for dinner (!)  I made a snap decision to switch direction with my meal plan and go with a foraging theme. I knew I could be taking a bit of a gamble, but I couldn't resist!

So after piling all our forested treasures on the counter, I got to work right away. Peter gave us lots of tips on how to prepare the edibles, and I decided to keep it simple and let the food speak for itself.

I still can't believe we made the whole meal in such little time, but we were so pumped it was really fun!

Dinner is Served..

To supplement some of the conventional foods (such as glazed salmon on the grill, quinoa, baby carrots and my favourite no bake brownies for dessert) I  added our following finds in the menu:

~Homemade hummus with day lily stems
~Wild leek and potato soup from the Puck's Plenty website
~A big salad including wild leek greens, spotted trout leaves, and day lily stems, garnished with garlic mustard and a few violas.
~A side dish of fiddleheads, blanched quickly and sautéed with garlic and finished with lemon juice.
~Assorted greens such as wild leek, spotted trout, and marsh marigolds.
~Sliced pheasant back mushroom, sautéed in butter as a side dish.
~Nettle tea with dessert

It truly was a fantastic foraging feast. Bon Appetit!

Homemade hummus with day lily stems. Delicious!

Big tossed salad with spotted trout leaves, day lily stems, and garnished with garlic mustard and violas. Dressed with a simple oil and vinegar dressing. Fresh, crisp and light. 

Fiddleheads: Start with tightly woven centres and wash well, rubbing off any of the brown debris. Leave a very short stem. 

Blanch for 5 minutes.

Saute garlic lightly in olive oil.

Add the fiddleheads and sauté until tender, but not mushy.

Add a pat of butter and drizzle lemon juice on top. Heavently!

This wasn't part of dinner last night, but my husband cooked some up for breakfast. He said they go fantastic with eggs!

Wild Leek and Potato Soup:
Washing the leeks is relatively easy, the outer dirty skin slides right off, with  a little rubbing under the water.

See what I mean? :)

Separate the bulbs from the greens and slice them.

Dice the potatoes and slice the greens. 

Saute the leek bulbs lightly in some olive oil.

Add vegetable broth and cook until potatoes are soft. Throw in the greens and continue cooking for about 4 more minutes. Puree until smooth. You can add some cream, but I found it was rich enough without it.

Add some chopped chives as a garnish.

Pheasant back mushrooms, sliced razor thin and sautéed in butter.

Greens lightly steamed, adding butter and lemon to finish.

Nettle tea- fragrant and light tasting. A perfect drink with the desset below!

The wild lilacs were a perfect centre piece too!


  1. Looks incredible Nancy! Isn't cooking fun. One of these days, we should share a meal.

  2. Amazing! Could you taste the leeks in the potato leek soup? Do they taste any different from regular leeks? What about the vegetables in the salad - could you taste the foraged greens or did the stronger flavour of the tomatoes and radishes drown them out - or maybe the foraged greens were bitter? or mild? I've never even heard of day lilly stems.

    I used to really enjoy fiddle heads. Roasting them works well too!

  3. Good questions! Yes, you could taste the leeks, but the flavour was subtle. If I had more, I would've used them. For the salad, the garlic mustard is a strong, peppery taste, so I held back. But to make it again, I would add more, as it would give the salad a nice 'bite'. The fiddleheads were fantastic done this way, tender and delicious. And the steamed greens were sweet and delicate.

  4. Next time I'm in London during nice weather I would really like to do this!