Friday Forage # 10 | A Cleavers cleanser in the shape of our Wild Salsa Verde

Jul 10, 2015 | Foraging And Feasting, Wild Food Recipies, Wild Starters

The Simple Things Are The Best Things: Why Not Try Cleavers?

For us the simple things are the best things and this cleavers recipe is one of those. The heady days of summer may well be upon us. But this cleavers recipe we shared on the lovely seeds and stitches blog way back, when a cardie was still an essential. And you kept your uggs in the car boot is not just for spring. These clever cleavers are the forage that just keeps on giving….If you eat green, this ones for you.

Galium Aparine (Cleavers):

Subsequently, one of this recipes main ingredients is cleavers, Galium aparine. The sticky back herb that hitchhikes it’s way around using it’s zillions of tiny hairs. Additionally it’s usually one of the first wild herbs we find in spring around March time and is growing close to it’s pal the common nettle. Although Spring is the best time to pick Cleavers when you can eat them raw as they are still tender enough. They are still worthy of the picking now, not only are they tasty but they are clever little shoots. Subsequently well known for their medicinal properties.
cleavers fore adventure

Why Cleavers?

Cleavers work their magic in 2 ways. Firstly to stimulate your lymph nodes to remove waste materials into the blood stream. To cleanse and nourish your blood to clear them. Without getting too technical on you. Meanwhile this enables your lymphatic system to function better. The bodies mechanism for discharging toxins. You have a back up of toxins you feel sick and tired, achy and slow, sound familiar?
Together with three cornered garlic and nettles, which go in pretty much everything we feast on at fore hutquarters. As they grow in abundance around us. And are so simple to forage, this is a deliciously fresh green and wieldy way to create a super supper that there is simply no excuse not to.
So here you have it, wild salsa verde that not only works it’s magic on your taste buds but gives your body a kickstart too. I’d say that was a pretty perfect way to welcome in summer and say goodbye to the winter blues and I have a hunch you might agree once you’ve given it (cleavers) a whirl….
wild salsa verde with cleavers

The Recipe:

Time: 10 minutes (depending on your knife skills!)
Makes: enough to fill a jamjar of loveliness
A large bunch of wild herbs
Small handful of cornichons
Small handful of capers
4-6 anchovy fillets
8 tablespoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
1 garlic clove (we don’t bother if we are using three cornered garlic)
1-2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar (you can use red aswell)
salt and pepper to season
How to:
First gather and wash your herbs. We used cleavers, three cornered garlic & nettles, but anything goes. Salsa verde is routinely made with parsley, but we have used a whole array of greens in the past from sorrel, mint, basil to wild chives.
three cornered leeknettles nettle foragegherkins three cornered leek
Secondly, chop your herbs finely. Then add your cornichons, capers, and anchovies. Keep chopping all of the ingredients together to combine. (we like ours to have a bit of texture but if you prefer a smooth consistency use a food processer)
cleavers mixed forage
Add all of the chopped ingredients to a bowl and mix in your olive oil, mustard, garlic and white wine vinegar.
Season and give it a taste, you may need to add more vinegar, mustard and olive oil to get the balance tickety boo. Lip smackingly good with fish or meat, we gorged on ours with lamb to stick with the spirit of spring!

Fore Adventure:

*Kudos to Neil White Photography for the first image taken on our Grow Eat Gather day together
Head on over to the lovely Seeds and Stitches blog for a spot more on springtime with the recipe we shared on their blog.
Or come join us for a forage event…


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