Last Sunday we took a hike across the fields behind our home. Pausing to climb a style by the old railway bridge, we were momentarily entranced by the “pee-wit” call of the lapwings. They have returned to nest for spring. We watched enthralled as they hovered high above the field then swooped down almost to the ground rising back up again – playing together in the wind and intermittent sunlight.
It reminded us that soon the blackthorn blossom will return to the hedgerows, the clocks will change and we will start to witness more signs of the spring we all long for after this harsh, cold winter. We can look out too for wild and hedge garlic, wild sorrel and baby nettles and other wild greens that will start to appear over the coming weeks as we open into April.
Bringing the essence of nature into everyday comfort food
Taking inspiration back into our local charcuterie
Our busy scattered lives often seem a long way from nature and the simple things that nourish us and make us happy. Finding ways to bring that essence of nature into everyday comfort food around our table is key to creating happiness at home.
There is something fulfilling in preparing food from the gathered treasures we find on the forest floor – have you ever noticed the scent of wild garlic after rain? Next time you are out walking, gather up some of the leaves (cut them at the stem) and bring them home to try this simple sauce recipe that works really well with fresh sausages crafted by my sausage maker husband, accompanied with creamy mash.
Simple Sunday Sausage Supper idea
This wild green pesto sauce is an easy way to bring seasonal produce to the table. Dollop a spoonful of the sauce on each plate for a perfect pop of spring flavours and vibrant colour with your favourite comfort food.
- 1 large handful of wild garlic leaves (or other wild greens), washed well
- 60g of blanched and toasted hazelnuts
- 60g of hard goats cheese grated
- 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of ¼ lemon
- Salt and fresh black pepper
Blitz the leaves, nuts and cheese in a food processor just enough to leave a little texture. Add the olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper. Combine again in the food processor and serve immediately
[Recipe Credit Lia Leendertz.]
It can be empowering to combine the intricate flavours of the outside with quality local produce as you will know exactly what you are eating and exactly where that food has come from – it gives us the power back - possibly for the first time in a while…