A Foraging Feast

As we welcome the arrival of spring, we also see the return of nature to its seasonal bloom. Plants begin to blossom and a carpet of rich greenery captivates the countryside that surrounds us.

As we welcome the arrival of spring, we also see the return of nature to its seasonal bloom. Plants begin to blossom and a carpet of rich greenery captivates the countryside that surrounds us.

Our Head Chef Norman Mackenzie is currently putting the final touches on our spring menus in the kitchens here at The Feversham Arms and is constantly on the look out for new ingredients to inspire his creativity. Embodying a richness of seasonal ingredients, combined with traditional methods of cooking, each dish featuring on the new menus will offer an exciting representation of the season we now find ourselves in.

For the foodies and budding chefs amongst you, spring is an exciting time of year for foraging the local countryside for some of nature’s finest edible treats. In a few short weeks, the surrounding fields and hedgerows will be the equivalent of an open-air greengrocer with plenty of potential ingredients to choose from.

Following last weekend’s busy Sunday lunchtime service, Norman took some time out of the kitchen to explore the growing process of the ingredients we can expect to forage during this time of year. This allows him to begin thinking and planning ahead to what he might be able to use in dishes on future menus. These are some of the exciting things he found:

Ramsons (Wild Garlic)

Walking through woods and fields, the vibrant smell of wild garlic is one of the first to greet your nostrils. This budding herb is in abundance, with its young shoots creating a fragrant presence in salads, or sautéed as part of a stir-fry. Throughout the duration of its growing process, wild garlic offers various contributions to dishes. As it grows older, its flavour strengthens and the stems and leaves can be used to create a stronger flavour, which works well in recipes such as a homemade mayonnaise. The leaves can be used to wrap around fish as you bake it, adding a vibrant flavour during the cooking process.

Snowdrops

A wood full of snowdrops is like a carpet of white silk, and one of the finest pictures of beauty you will come to witness in the countryside. Snowdrops offer a fantastic aroma, which makes them a great ingredient in dishes that allow them to hold the limelight, sorbets and cordials both being prime examples. (Keep your eyes peeled for Norman’s new Seasonal Market Menu – coming soon!)

Chervil

Chervil is a more delicate, feathery version of parsley, in which the foraged version holds more of a flavour than the cultivated stuff. Its mild, sweet aniseed flavour makes it a fragrant addition to soups and sauces, and often flourishes as part of the finishing touches placed on many of the dishes in our restaurant.

Be sure to keep an eye out for more on Norman’s foraging adventures and the launch of his new seasonal menus highlighting the ingredients that have inspired him on his excursions.

 

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