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GMTV website article

For and from the GMTV website minus all the stupid adverts

Read Fergus Drennan’s diary about his passion for foraging for food, get his recipes and find out what happened when GMTV descended…

Today, is my 11th day of eating nothing but wild and foraged food – there is a distinction – and those eager beavers at GMTV, the chief culprit being Matt Arnold, woke me up at 5am to start preparing breakfast. Wild foods are definitely on the menu, although I hadn’t factored in such wildly early hours. Normally it would be fine.

Just grab a coffee and embrace the caffeine culture of speed. No such luxury. But is it really such a luxury? Isn’t it just so much more fun and rewarding to drink wild coffee made with roasted acorns and wild water, to remember the warm autumn days gathering acorns in the sun, the jays fluttering in the branches above and squirrels twitching their tails in anticipation of their next nut for the winter store? I certainly think so!

Sourcing and eating wild food really opens your eyes, your mind and heart, in fact, your whole being, to a deep appreciation of and connection to the natural world around you! The more you eat, the better the feeling. Now you don’t get that with cakes and chocolate which, admittedly, are great at first but later…

Today’s breakfast menu is most interesting, in my opinion, because of the salad and, in particular, the salad dressing. Having eaten wild salads (amongst other things of course!) virtually every day for the last two weeks I’ve been getting, not bored exactly, but just desirous of a little dressing luxury. This morning I cracked it! So here’s the breakfast menu starting with that all important sexy salad sauce!

Salad Dressing

INGREDIENTS

1 litre spring water
2 tablespoons carrageen seaweed powder
1 tbspn wild apple juice
1 tbspn seabuckthorn juice
10 staghorn sumac berry clusters
a few wild chives
10 dittander leaves
sea salt

METHOD:

Pull the berries off the stughorn sumac berry clusters and squash with a potato masher in the spring water. Strain and add the seaweed powder. Add the 2 different juices and salt, then bring to the boil. Continue to boil for five minutes. Strain out the seaweed and pour liquid in a suitable bottle. Add finely chopped dittander and chives and shake well. Leave to cool. This will also allow the mustard pungency of the dittander leaves to infuse. Wow!

Salad (on the side)

INGREDIENTS (varying proportions of each)

Grated alexanders roots
Young hawthorn leaves
Wild garlic leaves
Hairy bittercress
Garlic mustard leaves
Dandelion leaves
White deadnettle flowers
Gorse flowers
Lady’s smock flowers

METHOD

Roughly chop or tear the the leaves and mix together with the grated roots and flowers. Easy!

Pheasant with wild mushrooms and other goodies

INGREDIENTS

4 Pheasant breasts
Some wild mushrooms fresh or dried (Fresh St Georges Mushrooms if you can find them)
Big bunch wild garlic leaves
1-2 Alexanders roots

METHOD

Scrub and chop the roots into small batons and boil for 10 mins in seasalted spring water. Meanwhile finely chop the fresh or rehydrated wild mushrooms, mixing with some chopped wild garlic leaves. Bash your pheasant breast out flat and stuff with the chopped leaves and fungi. Form a parcel with the meat, skewered and shallow fry. Whilst frying toss in some different mushrooms for good measure and boil the rest of the wild garlic in a pan of spring water. Bring it all together and serve hot.

Something sweet instead……

Chestnut and apple porridge

INGREDIENTS

A handful of dried chestnuts
3 dried apple rings
Spring water

METHOD

Grind the chestnuts and apple, add water and blend some more. Place in a pan with a little more water and heat until required thickness is reached.

And to drink…

Hot:

Acorn and rosehip seed coffee

Simply shell, roast and grind the acorns with the roasted seeds (hairs removed) and infuse in boiling water

Cold:

Seabuckthorn and apple juice

Want to know more? I run wild food courses. Can’t bear the thought of it? Stay away from my website at www.wildmanwildfood.co.uk



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