Fish, Foraging,and greens

One asks what fish, foraging and greens have in common. In my case it’s experimental archaeology for cooking, making sure ingredients work well together,

In the hedgerows it is the season of greens, wild garlic, Alexander’s and jack o mustard as we call it around here.

Wild garlic
Jack by the hedge , hedge garlic or hedge mustard grows around me.

Even if I am sure of a plant my friend Alison gets a picture of whole plants and enlarge section of leaves and flowers even after I have checked the books, as she is expert in such matters and I am making sure I don’t kill myself or anyone else

My plant bible

So we are now in May, and in medieval times, the rents may have been paid at Easter or about to be paid and the food store is dwindling.

All these work well, a bit like spinach, wilted on the pan in a little butter or quickly steamed. So today I have bought salmon and trout, not a lover of trout but today I changed my mind. We know the shoots maybe stronger now but any extra foods could use to make pottages, soups and stews , in my case I tried the Alexander plant by peeling the smaller shoots, and cooking the leaves and shoots in a little butter on the pan,

All the greens mentioned above are growing as the trout season arrives.


So lately I have used wild garlic, sorrel, todays use of Alexander’s,samphire and courgette using butter as the frying option, having a list of greens works well to serve with fish.

Salmon depending on its type will return to the rivers throughout the year to spawn, hence all the archaeological fish weirs, fish ponds in medieval times, there were a lot of laws concerning who had the rights to fish certain waters, who they were owned by, from Gaelic lords, lords of the lands, ecclesiastical etc, so not much has changed in the inland waters log Ireland or around our coasts in the modern world today.

All the above work well.

Trout and salmon taster plate with courgette dipped in wholewheat flower fried in butter, Alexander’s leaves and shoots fried in butter, samphire a quick heat on the pan with butter
Cooking on the pan

I cheated a bit today, as I served it with white soda bread smothered in butter, the soda bread was a present from Mary Clarke my mother in law who makes the best soda bread whether it’s brown or white, but that’s another story for another day

The food was all the nicer as I shared it with my friend Marina outside a 300 year old thatch cottage known locally as Ned’s cottage in Dromineer. It is her pottery studio and worth a visit, we both live in the fabulous part of the country where the lakes and rivers flow beautifully.

The taster plate was also served with salad leaves, use of a little apple cider vinegar works well to give different taste while cleansing the palette

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