Monday, 6 October 2008
In my quest to find and collect a new wild food each and every weekend in September and October I've come to a little bit of an Impasse. So far I've had blackberries (link), elderberries (link), ash keys and haws.
The past few weeks have been so wet that I've not had much of an opportunity. But yesterday was a very fine day. However, guelder roses aren't quite ripe yet and the same is true of rowan berries.
That really only leaves rose hips. Now, I've nibbled on these in passing several times in the past and I really like the taste. But they do strike me as being just a bit of a faff to prepare, as you have to remove each and every seed.
But, needs must... and as there was nothing else to pick (at least not properly) I decided to harvest the rose hips instead (of course I picked more elderberries and haws as well). Admittedly it's still a little early for the rose hips to be fully ripe (the dog rose ones at least), but the wild Rosa rugosa hips were nice and dark and there were quite a few bushes growing on waste ground so I harvested those and will pick the dog rose Rosa canina hips later this month.
Having picked the rose hips I needed to find things to do with them and it's only when searching the web that I found out just how versatile this food could be. So here are a couple of recipes that I've been able to try out for myself.
First we'll start with a classic method of air drying rose hips for later use:
Dried Rose Hips
600g rose hips
Like many late autumn fruit it's best to pick rose hips after the first frost when they are fully ripe. Snap off the tails of the hips as close to the fruit as possible then spread the hips out on a clean surface (I tend to spread newspaper on a table and spread them out there). Allow to dry partially (when the skins begin to wrinkle) then split the hips and remove all the seeds with a small spoon or a pointed knife (be certain to remove all the seeds, as these can catch in the throat).
Return the hips to your drying surface and allow to dry our completely (they must be completely dry, or they will not store) then either freeze in bags (they will keep indefinitely) or place in a clean jar and store in the refrigerator (they will keep for several months).
As well as being used as replacement for fruit you can add these to trail mixes, eat them as snacks or use as toppings for salads. Rose hips are very high in vitamin C and make an excellent winter supplement.
Of course, one of the classic ways of using rose hips is to make rose hip soup. There are classic recipes for this from Sweden (Nyponsoppa) and Germany (Hagebuttem Soup) but the recipe given below is a classic British recipe:
Rose Hip Soup
1l rose hip purée (or rose hip juice)
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp water
6 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt
Combine the rose hip purée, honey and lemon juice in a pan. Bring to a simmer then whisk together the cornflour and water to a slurry. Add to the soup and whisk to combine. Continue cooking until the soup thickens then ladle into warmed soup bowls, garnish with a spoonful of yoghurt and serve.
(This recipe is reproduced, with thanks, from the Celtnet British Recipes collection.)
If you want many more rose hip recipes then check out the Rose hips recipes collecton.
For all the wild food recipes on this blog, see the wild food recipes page.
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