Dandelion Bhajis and Wild Garlic Raita

dandelion flowers.JPGWe have been making these lovely Bhajis for years, we have even been on Countryfile demonstrating how to do it, but the video is lost and so I am giving the recipe out on the Blog for you to try. It only takes 10 minutes to make these scrumptious golden bhajis, you can serve them with plain yoghurt or maybe a Raita made with Wild Garlic..

Dandelion flowers open with the sun and close up overnight or when it rains. On sunny April days it’s often easy to find lots of lovely open flowers and these are the ones to collect.

Dandelion Bhajis and Wild Garlic Raita

You will need a deep pan to hold the frying oil and a thermometer to keep a check on the oil temperature.

Dandelion Bhajis – makes approx 15

  • 200g gram flour
  • ¼ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 45 large dandelion flower heads
  • 1.5 litres sunflower oil for deep frying

Put all the dry ingredients except the dandelions in a bowl and mix. Stir in approximately 100ml of cold water to make a thick batter, now put the dandelions into the batter and mix well to coat.Dandelion bhajis

Heat your deep frying oil to 185 degrees C and then gently drop spoonfuls (about 3 flowers) of the batter covered flowers into the oil. Deep fry for 2-3 minutes until golden, remove from the oil, drain on kitchen paper and serve seasoned with salt.5 Dandelion BhajisWild Garlic Raita

  • 400ml soured cream/crème fraiche
  • 1 bunch wild garlic washed and chopped
  • 5cm piece of cucumber chopped very small
  • Salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and season to taste.



Wild Garlic and Vegetable broth

IMG_6390.JPGSimple Healthy and Delicious: Once you have found a few Wild Garlic leaves this broth only takes 20 minutes to make. You can vary the vegetables if you like and serve it with crusty bread and butter. I have made this for quite a few people now and they all love it – young and old – even my Dad who doesn’t like garlic! He thought it was cabbage… hmmmm  One Day Foraging Course

Wild Garlic and Vegetable Broth Serves 3IMG_6387

1 small onion

1 stick of celery

1 carrot

2 small potatoes

A hand full of green beans

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 vegetable stock cubes

5 Wild Garlic leaves

Salt and Pepper

Peel and chop the vegetables in to very small dice. In a large pan heat the olive oil and saute the onion and celery gently for 5 minutes, add the carrot and potato and cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes. Dissolve the stock cubes in 1 litre of boiling water then add this to the pan. Add the chopped green beans and simmer for 10 minutes, until the veg is just tender. Wash the Wild Garlic leaves and cut into small ribbons, add this to the broth and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Photographs from the Cooking with Fire course on Saturday

Yorkshire Moorish, acorn, feta and berry pastilla

Following on from the ras el hanout recipe last week and  looking at the wonderful range of wild ingredients ripe for the foraging this weekend I was inspired to make a wild version of another Moroccan classic.

The result was this filo pastry ‘cigar’  filled with acorns, cobnuts, feta, elderberries and blackberries. A take on the savoury sweet pastilla Rose and I have enjoyed on trips to North Africa in the past few years.

We hope you enjoy it, our guests this weekend on the Vegetarian wildfood weekend loved it. Photos and menu below.

Acorn Pastilla makes 12

  • 200g processed  (see below) Acorns
  • 200g  Shelled Cobnuts broken into small pieces
  • 200g Feta Cheese
  • 1 x Red onion very finely chopped.
  • 60 x Elder berries
  • 20 x Blackberries chopped
  • 1 x egg beaten
  • Filo Pastry (we used shop bought Jus rol brand and used 2 packs)

To process your acorns, peel off the outer skin and then split the nut inside into two. Place the nuts in a pan with plenty of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes then replace the water and repeat. After the second simmer, drain the acorns and break them up into small pieces. Do not use raw acorns, you must process  them this way.

Put a little oil into a frying pan over a medium high heat and fry your chopped onion until slightly caramelised then remove from the pan into a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the filling ingredients to the bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste but be careful with the salt as the cheese is quite salty.

Open up your pastry sheets. Ours were oblong and about 25cm by 50cm and we cut them down into 2 piles of sheets 25cm by 25cm.

rolling pastillaTake one sheet of filo and place one twelfth of the filling in a 10 cm  line across the bottom edge of the sheet in the centre, start to roll up the cigar then stop and fold in the edges, when the edges are folded in continue to roll until you have nearly finished rolling, brush the last bit of pastry with a little of the beaten egg and then roll up completely to seal.

Place this filled cigar shape on another pastry sheet and repeat the rolling process so you have two layers of pastry per roll.

Deep fry the parcels at 180 degrees C until light brown and crisp, drain well on kitchen roll and serve warm.


September 2013

Vegetarian Wild food weekend

Menu plans
Friday night dinner

Dal bhat tarkari

Saturday  lunch

Pumpkin and Hogweed seed soup.
Wild marjoram fougasse

Saturday night dinner

Vegetable tagine with wild spice Ras el hanout
Sorrel couscous
Acorn pastilla
Hogweed lassi

Sunday  lunch

Mugwort and wild mushroom Ravioli
Orache butter sauce.
Dandelion and Burdock