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Food for thought

Taking a walk on the wild side, this edition of Wine & Dine Yorkshire sees forager Chris Bax of ‘Taste the Wild’ suggesting a Yorkshire offering created using beautiful, local finds.

“The thing to remember when you are out foraging is to think about what the plants are putting their energy into. In autumn this is obviously fruit and nuts, in summer quite often flowers, now in spring the plants are pouring all their energy and goodness into tender new growth.  The leaves and buds of spring are bursting forth and they are some of the sweetest, juiciest greens you can taste. So now is the time to search out the first of this spring bounty!

When you first go out foraging, stick to things that are easily identifiable or plants you already know. If you forage nothing else this spring you must try a few stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) and some wild garlic (Allium ursinum).  Use these two to make soup, or try your hand at this Yorkshire pesto recipe using some beautiful local produce.”

Yorkshire Pesto
• 150g (5.3 oz) Nettle tops blanched
• 100g (4 oz) Wild Garlic leaves and stalks
• 2tbsp Pine nuts (toasted)
• 50g (1.8 oz) Wensleydale cheese grated
• 300ml (10.5 fl oz) Yorkshire Rapeseed oil
• Salt and pepper

Put the nettles, wild garlic, cheese and pine nuts in a blender and blitz to a paste. Slowly add olive oil to this paste in the blender until it has a thick sauce like consistency. Season to taste. Taste the Wild was founded in 2008 to promote wild foods as exciting ingredients to use in innovative ways. You can find out more at: www.tastethewild.co.uk

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