To celebrate spring we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite foraged recipes using some of nature’s finest ingredients, from wild garlic to dandelion leaves and sea beets. Share your seasonal creations on social media using #farmdropfoodies.
Forager came about when French chef Blaise Vasseur, having witnessed the influence of wild plants on his native cuisine, asked Forager founder Miles Irving to supply wild plants to the newly opened Goods Shed in Canterbury. This spark ignited a wild food renaissance in the UK.
Now, 14 years on, a team of highly skilled foragers are hand-picking wild flavours at their peak, full of vitality which speak of the season. These overlooked treasures have been elevated and put back on our plates.
Spring Foraged Risotto
This gorgeous risotto is made with sea beet and wild fennel, hand picked by Forager, for a vibrant and fresh restaurant style dish you can make at home. You can change the foraged ingredients with the seasons – use wild garlic or three cornered garlic alongside the sea beet, or try adding a handful of samphire at the end. Like this recipe? Try our Asparagus Risotto with Wild Garlic, Mint & Lemon Oil for more fresh springtime flavours.
- 100g risotto rice
- 70g sea beet, large stalks removed and roughly chopped (or 35g sea beet and 35g wild garlic)
- 30g wild fennel
- 20g Parmesan, grated
- 1 small brown onion
- 600ml hot vegetable stock
- 70ml white wine
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salted butter
- Peel and finely chop the onion, then sweat in a lidded frying pan with a knob of butter and a splash of oil over a low heat until they are soft and translucent – about 10 minutes. If the onions start to catch add an occasional splash of water.
- When the onions are soft add the rice and stir to coat, then add the wine and turn up the heat to let most of it bubble away.
- Add a small ladle of hot stock at a time to the rice, stirring to combine. Don’t add the next bit of stock until the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat until you have about one ladle left.
- Add the sea beet with the last stock addition and heat through gently until it is wilted. Add the lemon zest, juice, half the Parmesan and half of the wild fennel fronds and mix.
- Pile into shallow bowls to serve and top with the remaining wild fennel, grated Parmesan and a good twist of pepper.
Crab & Samphire Sushi
These little maki shaped sushi rolls are made from the freshest British ingredients: crab meat from Devon and samphire foraged from estuaries around the UK.
- 50g white crab meat
- 100g samphire
- 190g sushi rice
- 1 red chilli, diced
- 2 sheets of nori
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp soya sauce
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- Wash the sushi rice in cold water and drain.
- Transfer the rice to a saucepan with 300ml cold water and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
- Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until all the water is absorbed.
- Remove from the heat and leave covered for 10 minutes.
- Spread out the rice onto a baking sheet and sprinkle over a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar. Use a large spoon to fold the sushi rice over on to itself, to help it stick together. Leave to cool to room temperature.
- Mix together the crab with a tablespoon of the rice wine vinegar, mayonnaise, red chilli and soya sauce.
- Cook the samphire in boiling water for 10 seconds then plunge it into cold water and drain.
- Assemble the sushi by placing a sheet of nori shiny side down onto the bamboo rolling mat, with the longest edge facing you, parallel to the slats of the mat.
- Wet your hands and spread out half of the rice on to the nori, leaving an inch of space at the top.
- Place half of the samphire along the middle of the rice, followed by half of the crab.
- Roll the mat from the nearest edge to you, using the mat to firmly press the roll together. Dampen the seaweed edge at the top with a little water, to seal the roll.
- Use a sharp knife to slice the sushi into 6-8 rounds, wetting the knife as you go so that it doesn’t stick to the rice.
Crunchy Raw Salad with Burrata & Citrus
This hearty salad is all about texture, pairing soft burrata and citrus segments with Forager’s wild leaf salad mix, crunchy raw kohlrabi and fennel.
Serves 2 as a starter/light meal or 4 with other dishes
- 1 head red chicory
- 1/2 fennel bulb
- 1/4 kohlrabi
- 1 packet wild salad mix
- 1 orange or grapefruit
- 1 burrata
- 30ml fresh orange juice
- 15ml extra virgin olive oil
- 5ml cider or white wine vinegar
- Trim the base of the chicory and separate the leaves
- Cut the fennel into quarters through the root so you have 4 wedges, use a mandoline (or finely slice) two of the wedges into thin slices – keep the fronds for decoration
- Remove the kohlrabi leaves and cut the bulb in half through the root, slice thinly into half moons using a mandoline, or sharp knife.
- Using a small serrated knife, carefully peel the orange, removing as much pith as possible while till keeping the shape of the orange. Cut the individual segments out along the pith lines, squeeze the juice of the remaining pith over a bowl to catch the juice for your dressing – if you don’t have quite enough you can use fresh orange or lemon juice.
- To make the dressing whisk all the ingredients together.
- To assemble, scatter the wild salad mix in a large serving bowl, drain the burrata and place in the middle and then arrange the orange segments, chicory leaves, fennel and kohlrabi slices. Drizzle with the citrus dressing
Rolled Lamb Breast, Roasted Shallots & Wild Garlic Oil
Breast of lamb may be a cheaper cut of meat, but it’s incredible flavour is unbeatable. The breast has a generous layer of fat running through it; which when cooked low and slow keeps the meat wonderfully moist and renders down to caramelise the shallots. Perfect for Easter.
- 700g rolled lamb breast
- 300g shallots
- 50g wild garlic
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 100ml Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 160°C. Rub the rolled lamb all over with a tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. In a hot frying pan, seal the lamb on each side until golden brown (don’t remove the string as this will keep the joint together when cooking).
- Place the lamb in a roasting tin and pour the cooking juices from the frying pan on top. Cook in the oven for 45 mins-1 hour, basting with the roasting juices from the pan every now and again. Peel the shallots then slice down the centre, keeping the root intact. Halfway through the cooking, place the shallots underneath the lamb breast and continue roasting.
- For the wild garlic oil, wash the wild garlic leaves then finely chop. Add to a bowl, along with the olive oil, a teaspoon of salt and the lemon juice.
- Once the lamb is cooked, remove from the roasting tray, cover with tin foil and rest for 20 minutes (you can keep the shallots warm in the oven). Thickly slice the lamb and serve with the roasted shallots and a drizzle of wild garlic oil. Serve with buttery potatoes and a crisp green salad.
Baked Cod and Potatoes with Wild Garlic Salsa Verde
Succulent pieces of cod on lightly roasted lemony potatoes, with a side of fresh, seasonal wild garlic salsa verde. Wild for wild garlic? Try light and fresh wild garlic, lemon and orzo soup or get baking with our wild garlic tearer sharer bread.
- 500g potatoes
- 4 fillets of cod
- 1 lemon, sliced thinly
- 50ml olive oil
- salt and pepper
Wild Garlic Salsa Verde
- 50g wild garlic
- 10g mint
- 30g parsley
- 1tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp capers
- 6 anchovies
- 200ml olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, juice
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200℃.
- Slice the potatoes thinly then mix them with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking dish and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Place the cod fillets and lemon slices on top of the potatoes, season with salt and pepper; drizzle with olive oil and bake for a further 10 minutes.
- Prepare the salsa verde by putting the wild garlic, mint, parsley, mustard, capers and anchovies in a blender. Pulse until smooth, then transfer to a bowl and stir in the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Serve the cod with a drizzle of the salsa verde on top.
Springtime brings longer, sunnier days and an abundance of wild delicacies to green spaces and hedgerows. Try your hand at foraging this spring with our guide to where to forage in London, or let us do the hard work for you and shop Forager’s range of wild garlic, sea veg, greens and seaweed.