HOWIT STARTED

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS FEATURE -

Welling­to­nian Rob Jones can pin­point his first for­ag­ing ex­per­i­ment. He was driv­ing and lis­ten­ing to an ex­pert talk­ing on Na­tional Ra­dio about onion weed be­ing ed­i­ble. Right at the time he was pass­ing a road­side bank cov­ered in them. ‘‘I just jumped out and grabbed some.’’ As some­one who has al­ways been in­ter­ested in cook­ing, and will­ing to ex­per­i­ment with flavours, onion weed has now be­come one of his reg­u­lar for­aged in­gre­di­ents. He says they taste just like spring onions. An­other favourite is the leaves and orange flow­ers of nas­tur­tium. The big lilly-like leaves are good for use as a wrap for fill­ings, es­pe­cially salmon, and their dis­tinc­tive pep­pery taste, ‘‘some­thing like rocket’’, is great for pesto and pasta flavour­ing. (Rob’s pesto recipe: put 3 cups nas­tur­tium leaves, half cup of olive oil, nuts – he prefers wal­nuts – and a bit of le­mon juice in a blender). Beach spinach is also tasty – tougher than the stuff you buy in shops, ‘‘but it works well if you wilt it first and it’s got a bit more bite’’. Rob likes the en­vi­ron­men­tal/ no-waste an­gle to for­ag­ing – and the sav­ings on the su­per­mar­ket bill don’t hurt ei­ther.

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