Showing posts with label foraging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label foraging. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Food from the Wood

Woodland Walk and a Little Foraging
 A walk in the woods will never again have quite the same meaning after Saturday’s outing to Marlogue (near Cobh). It started off innocently enough, just the two of us and the dog and, maybe, an eye for Wild Garlic. But it ended up being a long day, though with very pleasant meal at its end.

Marlogue is unusual (a bit like Curraghbinny) in that you get some of Cork Harbour along with the walks through the trees. No sign of the elusive garlic though as we got into it. Then we walked off the main path and followed one down to the shore.
To see more pics from Marlogue
click here

A couple were paddling their canoes along the shallows and a forager was bent in concentration near the water’s edge. We went in his direction and exchanged a few words and he confirmed that he was collecting periwinkles, gathering them with his gloved hand into a five litre container. He must have been out all morning as, a few hundred yards up the beach, we saw his net sack loaded with the periwinkles, must have been ten kilo or more in it.


Didn’t expect to find any garlic on the shore but did come across a whole line of Sea Spinach or Beet (see photo below) growing strongly where the stones and pebbles met the area of grass and weeds that edged the wood.

Resumed the walk in the woods then but no joy, especially where the conifers grew as there was virtually nothing growing under them. Higher up the slopes, on the way back to the car park, where deciduous trees dominated, there was more by way of undergrowth and a few false alarms!
So, when I spotted some more white flowers somewhat off the track, I wasn't that keen but decided to make the check. This time my luck was in, though the Garlic hardly covered a square yard. Still plenty there for our purpose which was to make the pesto detailed in Wild Food, a recent book by Biddy White Lennon and Evan Doyle.

Back home, there was foraging of a different type to be done. A run to the local Supervalu and Aldi failed to find the pine nuts required but a slightly longer spin to Dunne’s in Ballyvolane was successful. On the way, a decision was made to also make the Wild Garlic, Leek and Potato Bake. The only snag was the book was at home – still the memory worked fairly well. We had all the ingredients and were ready for action.

All worked out well. The Pesto, one “with attitude” as the authors say, is excellent but the Bake, more like a Gratin really, is a really splendid dish and used in Doyle’s restaurant The Strawberry Tree. We used it with some John Dory. The book suggests using it with the “Sunday roast chicken, or as the first touch of spring to the last of the winter spuds or a great TV snack, when you have the munchies...”
Hey Pesto!

 The book is a 2013 publication and on sale. Check out O'Brien Press or if you forage in your local bookshop, you’re likely to find a copy. Then off to the woods with you!

To see more pics from this "trek", please click here
The Wild Garlic Bake, essentially layers of potato, leek and wild garlic.