EDIBLE AUTUMN; It's the perfect time of year for foraging. Make these tasty treats with the berries and weeds you can find in hedgerows and gardens This pesky weed is.
Byline: WORDS: MELANIE HANCILL
How to make
Sloe gin This makes the perfect Christmas tipple to enjoy yourself or give as a gift WHERE TO FIND: Hedgerows will be full of this little blueish-black berry. They're found on the blackthorn bush and, traditionally, should be picked after the first frost as it softens the skins. They taste bitter eaten straight from the bush, and watch out for the blackthorn thorns when picking!
MAKES: 1.5 LITRES YOU WILL NEED:
500g ripe sloes
2-litre kilner jar
250g golden caster sugar
1 litre gin
Sterilised bottles to store gin 1 Rinse the sloes and pat them dry. Using a fork or cocktail stick, prick the berries, then tip them into the kilner jar, or divide between two smaller jars.
2 Add the sugar and gin, then seal the jar. Shake well, then store it in a cool, dark place. Shake once a day for one week, then shake once a week for at least one month. The longer you leave the sloes to steep in the gin, the more rounded and intense the flavour will be.
3 When the gin is ready, strain it through a sieve covered by a square of muslin into bottles.
How to make
Chickweed pesto and WHERE low-woodland, gardens, fields. leaves, with This pesky weed is packed full of nutrients, and has been used in traditional medicine to cool burns and soothe irritated eyes and insect bites. It's great in salads, or when used instead of basil in pesto MAKES: 250ML JAR YOU WILL NEED:
75g pine nuts
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
75g Parmesan cheese, cut into chunks.
100ml extra virgin olive oil
250ml jar 1 In a small frying pan over a low heat, dry fry the pine nuts until golden and nicely toasted.
2 Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and pulse until the mixture is blended to a not quite smooth paste.
Scrape into a sterilised jar and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.
3 WHERE TO FIND: This low-growing weed prefers woodland, but can be found in gardens, parks and at the edge of fields. It has small round or oval leaves, with little white flowers with five split petals, giving the appearance of 10 petals.