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What The World Needs Now

'What The World Needs Now' with regards to, environmental sustainability, was the topic for the recent publication of Independent Life Magazine (formerly, Independent Leeds). My article is on page 10 and was the toughest article I've embarked on for Independent Life yet - you can search the publication archives for my previous 3 articles. Link to magazine: https://issuu.com/independentlife/docs/il_mag_vol17_june_3
Recent posts

4 Wild Seasons Summer Pop Up: Friday 12th July. Barnoldswick

4 Wild Seasons will be popping up in Barnoldswick, Lancashire, to cook and serve you a summer menu that is seasonal, natural, different.

A 3 course taste journey, featuring the harnessed yet untamed flavours of coast, forest, hedgerow and meadow, bringing you the very best in wild, seasonal, foraged flavours.

All foraged & non-foraged ingredients will be ethically sourced & lovingly fermented, cured, smoked, pickled, prepped, cooked & served.

All you need to experience this wilder side of Summer is a sense of culinary adventure and: £27.50pp (payment required on booking).

A wild inspired gin summer cocktail is available for £5 only when booking (usual price of cocktail is £7.50). Please mention this offer when booking (price will be £32.50).

Booking essential. Email: edible.leeds@gmail.com

I have a very different ethic with regards to food and the quality served to my guests than most restaurants and food chains. I spare no expense on ingredients and always source with the…

Japanese Knotweed: The Terribly Terrific Tasty Terrestrial Triffid

It really is one of those 'love, hate' relationships, depending on which side of the proverbial fence
you find yourself.

Personally, I love Japanese Knotweed. I love it's potential as a diverse food & drink resource, I'll delve deeper into that arena later, and I actually find it to be a striking and handsome plant.

I've read some very interesting academic and scientific literature, both mainstream and non, which raised many a question regarding Japanese Knotweed; how it's perceived professionally, and thus culturally, and how this determines and affects it's subsequent treatment by humans. I heartily recommend the book 'The New Wild' by Fred Pearce - a book all conservationists and environmentalists should read.

Like so many of us, I too was previously led to believe that Fallopia japonica was a botanical nightmare; especially in relation to its negative impacts on our countryside, wildlife and urban dwellings, and eradication seemed the only a…

Japanese Knotweed Recipes

As you will have seen in my recent article on Japanese Knotweed (https://edible-leeds.blogspot.com/2019/04/japanese-knotweed-terribly-terrific.html) there is a plethora of fantastic and tasty culinary uses for it. I hope this page will inspire you to get creative with this versatile plant. I'll be adding more recipes in due course. **Please note: Japanese Knotweed is classed as highly invasive and failure to dispose of any remnants properly could result in prosecution. If you find yourself with any remnants after prepping it boil them for 10 minutes, leave to dry and then incinerate.


Japanese Knotweed, Sweet Woodruff & Rowan Shoot Tart.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry:
250g Plain flour
125g Unsalted butter (cubed)
1 Large Egg
40g Icing sugar
Pinch of fine sea salt

Sieve the flour & icing sugar onto a clean work surface & add the salt. Make a well in the centre, add butter & egg yolks & using your fingers mix together the butter and egg until sticky and combined. Once well mix…

Cherry Blossom

They look stunning against the blue spring sky & their aesthetic beauty is only part of their magic, for sakura blossoms hide a tasty secret...

The season is short, maybe a couple of weeks and, as is the case with certain other wild edibles, blink and you miss it. The stage at which to gather is prior to the full blooming of the blossoms, when they are in their 'waking' phase (not as pictured on the right, these are too advanced for salt preserving but are perfect for making cherry blossom syrup, more on that later.

I prefer to pick the awakening buds (as with fully opened blossoms), on a warm, dry, sunny afternoon when the buds and blossoms have been gently warmed by the suns rays. Once gathered it's imperative you get them home and process them as quick as possible - no accidentally leaving them out on the kitchen work top in your basket!

The Cherry Blossom, along with, Crysanthemum is the national flower of Japan and preserving the blossoms is an ancient, cultural a…

Magnolia

This not so wild, exotic, exuberant flower seems to have made itself quite at home in suburban gardens around the UK.
Aside from it's stunning, colourful appearance, it's edible.

Its flavour is somewhat exotic too, deeply floral and perfumed, with notes of peppery, ginger warmth, bitter chicory and a sort of creaminess to boot.

Magnolia is from an ancient lineage of plants, apparently hanging loose prior to the appearance of bees and it's thought the flowers evolved to be pollinated by beetles. With over 200 species among it's ranks, it has a large ancestry. From what I can gather, all species are edible and I've read/heard nothing to counter this.

The flowers usually develop and open in mid spring (I've mostly gathered them previously in the month May) but the unseasonably warm winter weather, particularly the mercury scorching 20 degree temperatures we experienced toward the end of February (2019), led to an early flowering of this beautiful plant.

The seaso…