Cleavers Galium aperine – 12.7% protein (source Kew.org)
Sometimes known as Goosegrass this edible and medicinal herb has been used as a detox herb for centuries and is said to stimulate the lymphatic system, cleanse the kidneys and benefit the skin. It tastes great too, sweet and pea like. Only eat the young shoots and chop them small because of the rough texture.
Stinging Nettles Urtica doica – 15.5% protein (source Kew.org)
Tasty and packed with magnesium,iron and calcium, they are said to ‘clear excess acid out of the joints which causes inflammation and pain’ and also to cleanse the blood. Collect just the nettle tops and you find the texture is tender and the flavour is iron rich but not bitter.
Healthy wild greens pie – serves 4
50g Cleavers, washed and chopped
50g Nettle tops, washed
100g Cheddar cheese grated
250g Ricotta cheese
2 Eggs beaten
375g Readymade puff pastry
Salt, pepper and grated nutmeg
In a large pan cook the nettles and cleavers for 1 minute, in just the water clinging to them (add a tiny bit more water if necessary). Add the spinach, stir and cook for another minute until all the greens are just cooked. If there is any excess water drain this off and put the greens in to a large bowl to cool down. When cool add all the other ingredients reserving a little egg for glazing the pastry. Mix the ingredients very well. Grease a metal baking tin and roll out the pastry. Line the tin with the pastry and pour in the filling mix.
Now fold over the pastry brushing with egg in between the layers to ensure the pastry sticks together and the filling does not escape. Glaze the top with the last of the egg to give a golden finish.
Cook for 1 hour at 180 degrees c
We love this wild greens pie with a roasted red pepper sauce, the one I made in this photo also has red chilli, garlic, and ground almonds in it. – roast the veg in olive oil while cooking the pie, then blitz it up with ground almonds, re heat and season with salt and pepper.
To learn more about wild foods join us on a foraging course http://www.tastethewild.co.uk