Skip to main content

Coastal recipes

It will come as no surprise that the UK is an island and is therefore bordered by a vast and magnificent coastline and beyond that, the ocean.

I imagine that most of us were introduced to the seaside as children, where many timeless hours of innocent fun were had, exploring rock-pools & coastal caves, racing imaginary horses (unicorns?) along and through the fringes of the tide mark, eating ice-cream, partially burying your favourite yet annoying sibling and sculpting them into strange creations adorned with various coastal debris & tucking fish n chip dinners, complete with the random obligatory grains of sand that somehow find their way in no matter how carefully you attempt to fend off their incursions - magic!

I've always been fascinated by the coast and the majority of my childhood holidays were spent at various locations around the UK - I deem myself very fortunate to have experienced those times and locations. Our seas, for the majority are within easy reach (I've heard on the grapevine that no matter where you live in the UK no-one is more than 80 miles from the sea and you don't require a car to get there, just a bit of planning and organisation - make it as hard or as simple as you like.

As I journey further down the foraging path, the more I feel myself connected and drawn to the energy, elements, wonder, mystery and abundance of our natural environments. For me, the sea is the best of both worlds, where ocean meets land, a truly great combination. High tides, low tides, spring and neap tides, estuaries, salt marshes, mudflats, cliffs, caves, shingle, sand dunes, harbours, piers, jetties the list goes on... and each of these habitats provide a unique and varied species range of wild edible treasures!

All this aside there are many things we just don't understand about our oceans and that is very much reflected in the way some of us treat it, as an infinite source of food (there to be exploited), be a dumping ground (sewage, chemicals, litter - whether we are aware of it or not). Our oceans - as with all natural environments deserve and require our respect - if we can't offer the support it provides us, it will stop supporting us. If we can learn and practice mindful harvesting and care of the oceans on a global scale, the very experiences we had as children will be there for future children to experience.

I hope this page will inspire a desire to connect or deepen our connection with the ocean/coast and it's many lifeforms, rhythms, energies, mysteries and I hope to explore the ways in which our culinary experiences can facilitate this. I'll be hosting some coastal residential weekend foraging courses in 2017. The courses will cover everything from sea fishing to seaweeds to coastal plants and will feature natural cooking, preserving techniques such as dry curing, fire baking & pickling. If you're interested in attending the coastal weekend events or would like to learn more about coastal foraging you can contact me at: edible.leeds@gmail.com  or on 07899752447.

Coastal Recipes

Mackerel & Seaweed Pate

Soused Islay Mackerel & Cockles









Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nettle, Wild Garlic and Ground Elder Soup

It's officially Spring, a time of new beginnings, longer daylight hours (yeeha!) and powerful, nutritious herbs. This recipe is one I first made a number of years back, at my first ever food festival - I had a 30 minute slot, so needed something quick easy and representative of some of the tasty, nutritious and powerful herbs available - it's a recipe that I've tweaked over the years and recent tweaks have left me feeling very satisfied with the results and those who have shared a bowl or two with me. The great joy of this soup, other than it's delicious and satisfying taste, is the ease of identification of the wild ingredients, the very small quantities required and the simplicity regarding the cooking. This isn't just a 'simply green tasting soup', this is wild gourmet food at it's simplest and finest.

Ingredients:

75g Nettle Tops
75g Wild Garlic
35g Ground Elder
2 Onions
5 Garlic Cloves
1 - 2 Tbsps Fermented Brown Rice Miso Paste
2 - 3 Tbsps Coconut…

Pheasant and Wild Garlic Dolmades

I should really call this 'when opportunity knocks'! There are moments when opportunities arise while out and about, it's all about good fortune, random happenings, destiny (however you like to call it) and whether or not to act on the opportunities presented - when it comes to road-kill pheasant, I'm always happy to swing with the opportunity. This recent RTA bird was initially destined to become 'Pheasant Kiev'. However, while out early yesterday morning to pick the wild garlic required, my mind drifted and happened upon another idea I've had for a while, a take on Dolmades - this was in part due to the terrific size of some of the leaves I was finding, they were perfect for wrapping into mouth watering parcels and a bit of fun too.

The following recipe made 8 dolmades and there is still enough mixture left over for at least 6 more - I should have picked more leaves! It's a flavour fusion reminiscent of the Mediterranean, North Africa and the UK.

Ingr…

Sap-solute Magic

'If magic is to be found you will find it in the woods, you'll find it in the trees'

The name Birch is derived from the ancient Sanskrit word 'bhurga' which roughly translated means, 'tree whos bark is used to write upon' - a reference to it's use as a paper resource. This is just one of the many attributes of this common, very useful and delightful tree.

Birch are extremely common in northern temperate regions of the world. In and around Leeds birch can be found in pretty much all the woodlands, yet until this year, I'd all but ignored this tree but for the beauty it lends itself to our parks, woodlands and wildlife. After reading posts and articles about 'birch sap', I felt that it was time to acquaint myself with this practice. So it was, early in March, I set about testing whether the 'sap was rising' or not. I headed to a local woodland and after locating a healthy tree and after seeking permission, I 'tapped' into it u…