Winter Wild Foods and Recipes

Edible fungi

As the frosts and wintry weather arrives most fungi stop fruiting and the foraging baskets are a little emptier, but there are some fungi that thrive in winter weather.  Wood blewits (shown above) are beautiful, lilac gilled, perfumed mushrooms that continue to pop up well into winter, as do velvet shanks and, the aptly named, winter chanterelle.  Take some time to learn about these delicious mushrooms and even winter walks can led to some edible mushroom treats.  Once the snowdrops start to appear the stunning scarlet elf cap fungi pop out of decaying branches - edible but tiny, they can make a handy snack.


Leaves & flowers

There are a surprisingly large number of plants that continue to grow and flower during the milder days of winter.  Gorse flowers appear all year around and have a delicate pineapple flavour - infused in white rum they can make the beginnings of a delicious wild cocktail.  Primroses can open from January onwards, their pretty yellow flowers make a cheerful addition to a winter salad.
Thereis also a range of edible leaves such bittercress, chickweed, dandelion, sorrel that can be found in gardens and hedgerows throughout the winter months.  Try making delicious chickweed pakoras for a spicy winter snack.


Winter chanterelles (Craterellus tubaeformis)

Winter Wild Food Recipes

Chickweed pakoras
Chickweed is a hugely successful plant that grows in practically every garden in the country.  Rather than pulling it up as a weed, cultivate it as a salad crop.

This superb recipe for chickweed pakoras came from 'The River Cottage Hedgerow book by John Wright and can be found online at https://www.rivercottage.net/recipes/chickweed-pakoras