Wild food cookery course

We have had many requests for an ‘in depth’ wild food cookery course, so here it is!

We have designed this day to give you real taste of seasonal wild ingredients and during the day Chris will teach you, as if in your own kitchen, how to cook great dishes that will bring new  flavours to your table.

The venue for the course is The Yorkshire Wolds cookery school, near Driffield, which gives us all the facilities we need for a fabulous day of cooking and eating.

The use of the cookery school allows us to explore some more refined recipes that we would find hard to do over an open fire in the woods. Chris has created dishes that make the most of autumn’s bounty and also teach you some great core cookery skills like game preparation, curing and preserving as well as the processing of interesting wild ingredients like Burdock and acorns.

cured venison

The day will be a mixture of demonstrations from Chris and plenty of hands on cooking sessions in the schools beautiful teaching kitchen.  Lunch will be cooked as part of the course and you will also take away a goody bag and a comprehensive set of recipes for all the dishes.

Planned menu

A terrine of rabbit, black pudding and cobnut with apple and hawthorn.

Cured venison loin, elderberry ketchup, pickled berries and smoked oil.

Roast partridge, hogweed spiced squash, and burdock chips

Acorn panna cotta

Skills covered on the day

Jointing a rabbit.
Terrine making.
Simple curing.
Ketchup making.
Preparing and roasting game birds.
Preparing and cooking with burdock.
Preparing and processing acorns.
Making panna cotta.

To book the course go to our main website here www.tastethewild.co.uk/courses-extracourses.html 

Accommodation is available at the Yorkshire Wolds cookery school and this can be booked directly with Highfield farm. http://highfieldfarm.co.uk/bed-breakfast .

Ground Elder croquetas

One of our favourite comfort foods.  Who could fail to love crispy coated parcels of melting cheese and wild herbs.  Based on a classic Spanish recipe and perfect for tapas these croquetas could be flavoured with many different wild herbs. It all depends on your taste and the time of year.  Wild garlic would be great but we really love the parsley like flavour of Ground elder.

It’s a great time of year to eat your garden weeds!

Ground Elder Aegopodium podagrariaground elder

A perennial plant that can spread to form dense patches. The leaves grow to approximately 30cm tall, the flowering stalks to 70cm. The leaves grow straight out of the ground in early spring. They have a grooved stalk which divides into 3 and each of these 3 stalks has 3 leaves on it. These oval leaves have a serrated edge and a pointed end. There are also smaller leaves with fewer leaflets. In early summer the plant sends up a grooved flowering stem. This branches and has umbels of white flowers (sometimes pinkish) which smell a bit like parsley and celery with a hint of aniseed.

Ground elder and cheese croquetas  makes 12

75g Butter
75g  Plain flour
450ml  Milk
250g Strong cheddar cheese, grated
50g Young Ground elder leaves and stalks chopped finely
1tbsp olive oil
1 egg, beaten
100g (4 oz) stale white breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
Oil for deep frying

Melt the butter in a pan, Add the flour and cook, stirring gently, for 1 minute. Take it off the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Now return to the heat and cook until smooth and thick. Add the cheese and chopped Ground elder, stir well, cover and set aside to cool completely.

Once cooled and firm shape the mixture in to 12 small sausage shapes, dip each one in to the beaten egg then in to the breadcrumbs. Heat your deep frying oil to 185°C and cook the croquettes for 2-3 minutes or until crisp and golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.  Serve warm.


A few photos from this weekends Wildfood weekend course where everyone enjoyed some croquetas.

Goosegrass goujons with Wild Garlic tartar sauce


Strips of smoked haddock wrapped in Cleavers, deep fried in chickpea batter and served with a creamy gherkin and wild garlic dip.

Cleavers ( Galium aparine) are looking great at the moment and they are just at the stage when they are long enough to wrap things but have not yet become too stringy. They are staple for us at this time of year and an easy plant for budding foragers to identify on our One day foraging courses.

Rose was experimenting with using them  last week and it was a lovely surprise to have this recipe for my dinner as the result of her research.  These could be eaten as part of a bigger meal or would make wonderful tapas as part of a spread of small plates.

By all means try out your own favourite fish in this recipe but the smoked flavour worked really well.

The sauce uses wild garlic puree which is made by blitzing up wild garlic leaves with a little olive oil. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 month.  For id notes on Wild Garlic see previous post here.

Cleavers Galium aparine
Cleavers 1One of the first plants to emerge in spring. This annual plant has a distinctive growth pattern where rings of narrow slightly bristly leaves are borne at regular intervals along the slightly bristly stem. The  leaves are up to 3cm long. Cleavers will generally climb up the plants near it, managing to grow through hedges up to 1.5m. The tiny greenish white flowers open in summer to be followed little hard ball seeds that stick to your socks.
Cleavers has tiny downward facing prickles on the stems which makes them seem sticky.

Goosegrass goujons with wild garlic tartar sauce.


300g Smoked Haddock fillet
100g Chickpea flour
Half a teaspoon of salt
1 handful of Cleavers stems

For the sauce
2 tsp Wild Garlic puree (see above)
2 tblsp Mayonaise
5 Cornichon gherkins, finely chopped
2 tsp Capers, finely chopped


Slice the fish into strips about 2 cm wide across the fillet. Wrap each strip in a couple of Cleavers stems as in the photo below.

fish wrapped with cleavers

Set these wrapped strips aside whilst you make the batter and sauce.

For the batter put the flour and salt into a bowl and stir in approximately 75ml of water, adjusting this to make a batter the consistency of thick cream.

For the sauce just mix all ingredients together in a bowl until you have and even green colour.

To cook your goujons, dip each little parcel into your batter and then deep fry at 180 degrees C until golden brown. Drain on kitchen roll and serve with your tartar sauce.


Campfire Baba ganoush and a few pictures from our ‘Cooking with fire’ course.

A very simple recipe this week, but one that went down so well on our cooking with fire course on Monday that I had to put it on here. Especially for Steve.

“Just a note to say thank you for a great day on Monday, thoroughly enjoyed the whole day and came away with some great cooking ideas and some useful tips (controlling the direction of smoke from a fire was a hoot).
Food was fantastic and I would ask is there any chance you could send me the recipe (or tell me where to get it) for the Baba Ghanoush – indescribably good.  Thank you once again.”    Steve 

Campfire Baba ganoush

A delicious smokey aubergine dip makes the most of cooking over real flames or hot coals. We used wild garlic leaves as we are at the height of the season, but you could use 3 cloves of garlic instead.  Try it with flat breads as a dip or as part of a middle eastern mezze.

5 aubergines
100g light tahini paste
3 tblsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (maybe more to taste)
10-15 wild garlic leaves very finely chopped

Roast the aubergines directly on the hot coals at the side of the fire until soft and slightly charred (this gives the great smokey taste that is essential for the dish).  Remove from the fire, allow to cool slightly then cut in half and scrape out the flesh into a bowl. Add all the other ingredients to the bowl, season with salt and pepper and mash to a rough paste.  Taste and re-adjust seasoning with salt,pepper and lemon juice if necessary.


We were blessed with glorious weather for the first cooking with fire course of the year and had a great day learning to light and manage a cooking fire and creating dishes using a range of cooking techniques.

  • Elderberry drop scones
  • Spiced spit roast chicken
  • Hot smoked tofu
  • Chappati
  • Baba ganoush
  • Clay baked onions
  • Easter soda bread cooked in a dutch oven
  • Pit roast Trout with fennel and tomato