Edible wild flowers
May is one of the peak months for foraging as wild flowers and herbs come into full bloom. One big advantage of wild foods is that they have up to 20 times as many vitamins and minerals as their cultivated equivalents.
Using wild garlic instead of basil for pesto (adding cashew/pine nuts, olive or rape seed oil and Parmesan) is popular but more adventurous foragers will mix dandelion and hawthorn leaves into their salads.
Primroses and cowslips can be used for syrups, teas and wines and my personal favourite are elderflowers which when infused with lemon and sugar make a delicious cordial.
There are lots more too but remember never to pick no more than one third, leaving one third for others and one third for the plant to regenerate. If you’re interested in joining an organised foraging trip, check out theherbgarden.ie, the herbalhub.com, theorganiccentre.ie and blackstairsecotrails.ie.
See slowfoodireland.com for some tasty recipes.
Dandelion leaf salad: wild foods have ■ up to 20 times as many vitamins and minerals as their cultivated equivalents. PHOTOGRAPH: SILVIA JANSEN