This idea came from forager Henry Ashby. It’s a simple recipe that works really well. Hop shoots have a delicate flavour so the important thing with this recipe is go easy on the Wild Garlic leaves!
- Sunflower oil
- Hop shoots: A handful, washed and trimmed
- Leftover cooked new potatoes, sliced: 300g
- Eggs beaten: 5
- Wild Garlic leaves: 2 or 3
- Cream: 1 tablespoon
In a small non-stick frying pan, heat oil over a medium heat. Add potatoes, then fry until beginning to crisp (about 8 mins). In a bowl, whisk together eggs, Wild Garlic leaves and some seasoning. Turn on the grill. Add eggs to the frying pan, mix quickly, lower the heat, then sprinkle over cheese. Once the top side has almost set, pop under the grill for a few minutes, until cooked and golden. Slide out of the pan. Serve and enjoy.
There are numerous versions of this savoury pudding recipe. The one I have used and adapted is by Roger Phillips. Instead of Bistort I used Dandelion leaves. Bitter or aromatic flavours work particularly well so you could try Cow Parsley, Ground Elder or Sorrel. That is if you are one hundred percent certain that you can safely identifying these plants.
- 450 g Dandelion and young Nettle tops
- 1 large onion
- 125g Pearl barley
- A large knob of butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Chop the greens and onion finely and sprinkle the washed barley among them, adding the salt.
Boil in a muslin bag for around one and a half hours, then strain.
Before serving, beat the mixture in a dish with the egg, a large knob of butter, salt and pepper. I add oatmeal and breadcrumbs to the mixture as well.
Form into cakes, roll in more breadcrumbs, then fry in sunflower oil.
Serve with potato wedges, on a bed of Sea Spinach or with a wild leaf salad.