Wild in the Kitchen: a blog by forager Will Newitt

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th April 2015
This is one of a series of bi-monthly blogs by Dorset-based forager, Will Newitt, owner of Down to Earth Bushcraft.mallow1 resized Every season has its joys when wild food is on the menu but there is something about this time of year that feels extra special. Now is the time when the spring greens really start to surge forth with all their fresh, super nutritious goodness. One of these is the Common mallow (Malva sylvestris). It’s a noble plant, despite its name, and a texturally intriguing one too; having a high mucilage content that creates leaves with a soft and velvety texture. It works well as a substitute for Jute mallow, a very close relative that forms the backbone of a popular Middle Eastern dish known as molukhia soup.mallow 2 correct The ingredients vary from region to region but generally include shredded mallow leaves, chicken, chick peas, lentils, tomatoes, garlic, onion, paprika, cardamom and olive oil. Curiously, it seems many of the chefs associated with integrating wild food into their cuisine have not really explored the plants potential over here. In Israel, Jews mallow is certainly enjoying something of a resurgence while there’s lots of recipe inspiration for our native mallow on the very informative Celtnet. Finally, in case you were wondering, the original marshmallow is also a member of the same family.mallow3 resized Sadly, it’s rather rare these days but the root was once harvested in order to make a puffy sweet treat; long before the gooey modern concoction of sugar, gelatin and e-numbers. Will is a wild food obsessive. He is a forager based in Dorset, where he runs a fledgling bushcraft business, specialising in introducing people to the edible pleasures of woodland and hedgerow. More info can be found at www.downtoearthbushcraft.com

See Will's previous foraging blogs here.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th April 2015

Wild in the Kitchen: a blog by forager Will Newitt