A few weeks ago we ran a seashore foraging event for our friends at Dorset Tea. They invited some leading bloggers to Dorset for a few days to help launch their new fruit & herbal infusions range. We had been involved in helping create this range taking Dorset Tea staff for a day of summer foraging to help inspire them.
On route to the beach we found plants of interest – lovely Elderflower with it’s myriad of uses and the deadly poisonous Hemlock Water-Dropwort. At the rocky headland we discovered a good number of species of edible seaweed. In this country little attention is paid to them but they are very popular in East Asian cuisine (Japanese, Chinese & Korean). We are fortunate in having many of the same or equivalent species on our coast. There is also a long history of using some species in Ireland and Wales. The key to cooking seaweeds is appropriate treatment for each species.
I had put a crab / lobster put out a day or two before. You never know what will be in it when you retrieve it. I was delighted that it contained…
We headed for our start via some seashore plants including this magnificent Sea Kale. This was once a very popular Victorian vegetable, grown in gardens with young shoots forced in earthenware “chimneys” like rhubarb.
The session ended with a picnic Hedgerow Harvest had prepared based on foraged wild foods. This contained 13 foraged wild foods and featured :
- Wild cordials and Elderflower Champagne
- Miso soup – including dashi stock (Sugar Kelp), Ceps, Wild Garlic and Sea Lettuce
- Frittata – including home-smoked mackerel, Sea Beet and Wild Garlic,
- Sides – Sea Spaghetti and Carrot salad, Sea Lettuce
- Elderflower Panna Cotta – using Carrageen seaweed and Elderflower
You can read the bloggers write ups of their trip to Dorset including lots more photos at:
Tea Time in Wonderland (foraging is part of the way through the article)
The Girl Outdoors (foraging is part of the way through the article)
There are also photos scattered over twitter and other social media including
Dorset Tea – Seashore forage Dorset (Pinterest).