Monday, 21 May 2012
Alexanders the great
Ok so it's been over a year since my last post, so clearly I need to make up for lost time. In the last 12 months a lot has happened. A highlight was visiting the Irish village of Strandhill to lend some editorial assistance to Shells, truly the best cafe in the world. It also happens to be in a very surfy stretch of Ireland, so the owners Myles and Jane are loving life. When it comes to fresh, local produce County Sligo is seriously spoiled for choice. Even the areas not under cultivation are abundant with victuals - you can eat the seaweed right out of the sea, harvest mussels from the shore and source all kinds of edible savage greenery from the woodlands and fields. Myles and Jane's influence must have rubbed off on me because this weekend I put my little guidebook Food for Free to use and did some food foraging of my own.
On Saturday there was a little wave working at Bantham in Devon, a really lovely spot. It's also blessed with a bumper crop of Alexanders, which grow in the dunes, in the hedgerows and next to the carpark at nearby Bigbury-on-Sea. Apparently this was a herb that the Romans grew for use in their kitchens and brought with them to England. I harvested some and cooked it in a shrimp and pasta dish. Nice and salty, it tastes somewhere in between celery and asparagus, and it compliments seafood very well.
Eat Weeds is a blog I discovered which has a ton of good info on these leafy Roman escapees.