Tuesday, 18 December 2012

'Forager' at Marylebone Farmers Market - Food Find

Marylebone London Farmers Market is my favourite farmers market and one fairly new pitch has been grabbing my attention.  This week a bag of crimson rose-hips shone out amongst the leaves and roots, seeds and fruits set out on the 'Forager' stall.  Jars of sweet-pickled samphire, preserved rose petals, various leaves, stems, broad bean tops, and even spruce cuttings were spread across the stall. Wild plants thrive where there's no human intervention and foraging is a way to reconnect us with our lost food heritage.  'Forager', I learned, is working with some of the most influential chefs of the moment, such as Simon Rogan, Rene Redzepi and Ollie Dabbous.

A pile of 3-cornered garlic (also known as 3-cornered leek) caught my eye. The long, sword-shaped leaf is, I was told, the first (or should that be the last, given that I bought them on 16 December), of the wild garlic to be found in Britain.  It's a totally different plant from Ramsons but is similarly edible.  The leaves are longer and thinner and the flavour is more delicate. Lovely added to a salad, but having a chicken to roast, I tucked them into the pocket between skin and breast meat for a subtle garlicky hit.

London Farmers' Markets