Edi­ble wild flow­ers

The Irish Times - Weekend Review - - OUTDOORS -

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

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