Weed Recipes

Here are the recipes from our stall about weeds at GrowLocal on Sunday 5th May 2019.

Stone Soup
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course

2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
3 potatoes
2 big handfuls of edible weed leaves – e.g. stinging nettles, ground elder, cow parsley, sow thistle, goosegrass, dandelion leaves. You can use a single type of weed or a mixture. You can also add some herbs or other edible leaves that you have grown.
Butter or oil – rapeseed oil is good,
Vegetable stock (you can use a stock cube or powder)
Salt and pepper

Chop the onion and garlic finely.
Peel the potatoes and chop into small cubes.
Wash and roughly chop the weeds.
Heat the butter or oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onions and stir. Fry for about 5 minutes till they start to glaze and stir in the garlic and fry for a few more minutes.
Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to stop them sticking.
Cover with stock or water and stock cube and bring to the boil and cook for 7 – 10 minutes.
Add the roughly chopped weeds and simmer for a further 4 – 5 minutes.
Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
If you prefer a smooth soup – liquidise.
Serve with bread.

From “The Thrifty Forager” by Alice Fowler.

Dandelion Syrup with Green Apples:

50 dandelion flowers (only the yellow petals, use scissors to cut the green off)
500 grams of chopped green apples (about 3)
optional: 1 stalk of chopped rhubarb
1 litre of water
about 500 grams of sugar
juice of one lemon

Put the apples, dandelion flowers, rhubarb, juice of lemon and water in a pot and let it simmer for half an hour.
Strain through muslin so the juice is clear and beautifully yellow. Weigh the juice and pour it back into the pot. Use the same amount of sugar as the juice weighs.
Bring it to a boil, until it thickens. Be careful not to let it boil for too long, it must not change colour. Pour the syrup into sterilised jars.
It’s perfect on yoghurt or pancakes. You can also use it for oven baked beetroot, carrots, potatoes or so, just pour some syrup over the vegetables and into the oven.


Stinging Nettle Pesto

20g breadcrumbs
100g young nettle leaves and shoots
20g strong cheddar cheese
half a garlic clove – crushed to a paste with a little salt
150 – 200 ml rapeseed oil
salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Scatter the breadcrumbs on a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes until dry and golden, checking them frequently towards the end as they burn quite quickly.Tip on to a plate and allow to cool.
Wearing gloves, pick over the nettles, discarding all but the thinnest stalks, then wash well. Fill a bowl with iced water. Find a pan large enough to take the nettles and half-fill it with water.
Bring to the boil and cram in the nettles, pushing them down with a wooden spoon to immerse them. Cook for just 1 minute, then drain through a sieve over a bowl to save the cooking water. Immediately plunge the nettles into the iced water. As soon as they are cold, remove and squeeze them as dry as you can – they will not sting you once they are cooked.
Put the nettles into a food processor along with the breadcrumbs, cheese and garlic. With the machine on low speed, trickle in enough rapeseed oil to make a loose paste. (Alternatively, you can grind the nettles, breadcrumbs, garlic and cheese to a paste using a pestle and mortar, then slowly incorporate the oil.)
Season your pesto with salt and pepper to taste. It is now ready to use. As for the nettle cooking water you saved, drink it – it’s too good to waste.


You can also make pesto from young ground elder leaves – substitute them for the nettles and add 50g shelled and chopped pistachios.

Linguine with Ground Elder Shoots
200 g dried linguine
1 onion – finely chopped
a few mushrooms, finely chopped
10 nettle tops
20- 30 ground elder shoots
100 ml double cream
1 vegetable stock cube
finely chopped herbs

Break the linguine in half so it is about the same length as the nettles and ground elder shoots (if the ground elder stems are particularly long, cut them in half too). Cook the linguine until nearly al dente and drain.

For the sauce, use the biggest frying pan you can find as you want to fry rather than steam the ingredients. Fry the onion or other alliums in olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic (if using wild garlic, chop in near the end) and mushrooms (ideally shiitake, otherwise cultivated) and fry for a couple of minutes more. Then add the nettle tops and fry for 5 minutes or so, followed by the ground elder stems and another 5 minutes frying. Add the linguine and stir. Then add the cream and a little water, a teaspoon of bouillon or other stock powder and fresh, finely-chopped herbs such as parsley, wild celery, Scots lovage and sweet cicely. Cook gently for a couple more minutes and serve.
From www.

Apple Recipes

Here are the recipes for the tasters at our stall on Shropshire Apple Trust’s
Apple Day at the Green Wood Centre Saturday 13th October.

Apple and Onion Pie
The spirit of this recipe is to use what you have available. It is a family recipe, originally given to my father by a Cornishman. We enjoyed it when the week lasted longer than the money. It is a good vegetarian choice.
For the cheese pastry
285 grammes (10 ozs) plain flour
170 grammes (5ozs) butter
85 grammes hard cheese –grated
2 eggs lightly beaten
Pinch of salt.
Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Stir in the grated cheese.
Add most of the eggs – leaving about a quarter – and work the dough together. You may need to add a little water if it is too dry.
Cover with foil and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
For the filling
3-4 onions – thinly sliced
1 large apple or 2 small ones sliced
Oil or butter
Salt and pepper
Gently fry the onions in the butter or oil for about 30 minutes on a low heat.
Add the apples and continue to fry for another 5 – 10 minutes till beginning to soften.
Season and leave to cool.
To assemble the pie
Heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade, gas mark 6.
Grease the pie dish.
Roll out two thirds of the pastry Roll out two thirds of the pastry and line the pie dish.
Glaze the bottom of the pie with a little of the beaten egg (to stop the dreaded soggy bottom).
Add in the filling then cover with the remaining pastry. Use the trimmings to decorate the top. Brush with the rest of the beaten egg.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or so until golden.
Although it can be eaten cold, it is better when eaten hot.

Tomato and Apple Relish
Day 1
4 cups of tomatoes – chopped, deseeded and peeled
4 cups of tart apples – finely chopped and peeled
2 cups of chopped onions
1 cup of finely chopped red peppers
¼ cup of salt
Combine the tomatoes, apples, onions, red peppers and salt.
Cover and let stand at cool room temperature for 8 – 18 hours.
Day 2
2 cups of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of mustard seeds
2 teaspoons of celery seed (optional)
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 ½ cups of white vinegar
Prepare preserving jars and lids by sterilizing and keeping the jars hot.
In a colander lined with muslin, drain the vegetable mixture and rinse well.
Drain again and squeeze out excess liquid.
In a large pot combine the sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, ginger and vinegar.
Bring to the boil on a low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Increase the heat to medium high and add the vegetable mixture.
Return to the boil, stirring often for 15 minutes. The tomatoes need to be tender and the mixture slightly thickened.
Ladle into the hot jars, leaving 1 cm headspace. Make sure there are no air pockets.
Screw lids down fingertip tight.
Process (stand up to their necks in a deep pan of water, and bring to the boil) for 20 minutes.
Stand for 24 hours.
Recheck and tighten the lids when cool. Refrigerate when opened.
Great with cheddar or blue cheese.
Apple Ginger Jam
2 kg of apples
3 cm piece of fresh ginger
Rind of 2 lemons
625 ml water
1.5 kg granulates sugar – warmed
125 ml fresh lemon juice
Peel core and slice the apples – reserving the peel and cores.
Put the cores, peel, ginger and lemon rind in a muslin bag and tie.
Squeeze the bag to extract any pectin and then discard.
Add the warmed sugar, stirring over a low heat until it is all dissolved
Stir in the lemon juice and bring to the boil.
Boil rapidly for 20 minutes or until setting point is reached. Skim off any scum and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
Ladle into warm, sterilized jars; cover and label.
Apple, Onion and Tomato Chutney
Another family recipe from my Mother’s handwritten cookbook. She cannot remember where the original recipe came from, but we have been eating it for over 60 years.
900gm (2lbs) of apples
900gm (2lbs) of onions
900gm (2lbs) of tomatoes
575 ml (1pint) of vinegar
450 gm (1lb) of demerara sugar
Up to 10 g (½ oz) of cloves – tied in a muslin bag
Chop the apples, onions and tomatoes into mall pieces.
Put in a pan with the vinegar, sugar and cloves.
Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 2 – 2 ½ hours or longer until the required consistency – when the spoon leaves a trail when it is drawn across the surface. Stir occasionally – particularly when the mixture gets thick.
Remove the cloves.
Put in warmed sterilised jars; cover and label.
Spiced Damson Chutney
This is a Delia Smith recipe. Here is the link:
We hope you enjoy cooking and eating them for yourselves.