Introduction: Wild Food Campfire Cooking

About: I'm an english mum of a 10 year old boy, living in france, enjoying making things, geocaching, exploring, learning...

This is a whole menu of our favourite campfire cooking recipes, which are completely vegetarian and include some easily foraged plants from the wild!

The plants we use here are quite common and easy to identify but still please be careful! If you plan to make these recipes please look up the plant by the latin name (which i give in brackets) to identify it properly, (don't just use an app because they can make very grave errors), and only use it if you are absolutely sure you have the right thing. Check with someone who knows or take a wild food foraging class if you are unsure.

These recipes are all easy to make and outstandingly delicious. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Step 1: Stinging Nettle Soup!

We always enjoy a good soup when camping, especially when it's colder. This has to be our ultimate favourite and don't worry, it won't sting you!

First we gather the stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) using a plastic bag or gloves to avoid getting stung. We take the top few tender leaves before the nettles start to flower. We will need about a loose pan-full. Nettles are super good for you containing vitamins, minerals, proteins, antihistamines and lots more.

In spring we also gather a few handfuls of ramsons (Allium ursinum), or wild garlic. You can i.d this plant by its strong garlicky smell but it can be confused with lilly of the valley (Convallaria majalis), which is very poisonous, so if you're not sure leave it.

Or here we are gathering some three cornered garlic (Allium triquetrum), another delicious garlicky wild plant.

Step 2:

Chop up the plants and a few veg, whatever is handy; here we use a carrott, an end of leek, a bit of celery and a couple of potatoes. Cover it all with water and simmer for about 15 minutes till all the veg is soft. Then use a masher or battery blender to whizz it into a smooth soup.

Step 3:

It will go a beautiful deep green colour.

Scatter a few edible wild flowers and enjoy!

Step 4: Veggie Hotdogs

This is another easy to make, one pan, campfire recipe

You will need some vegetarian hotdogs and some veg - whatever you have or fancy. Here we use a bit of onion, courgette, red cabbage, pepper and a few wild herbs including fennel leaves (Foeniculum vulgare), and wild marjoram (Origanum vulgare).

You will also need some mustard, ketchup and bread and a splash of oil.

Step 5:

Cut up into small bits as much veg as you need and fry with a splash of oil.

You can cook the hotdogs in the pan at the same time as there is enough moisture in the veg to let them cook nicely. While they are cooking prepare your bread or buns with mustard and ketchup as you like it.

Step 6:

When the veg is cooked, about 5 minutes, load a spoonfull into your bread or bun and place the hotdog on top and enjoy!

Step 7: Wild Flower Salad

A wild flower salad is a great way to start foraging. We generally make a mixture of lettuce and whatever wild flowers are in season. Some of the flowers in this salad are marigods (Calendula officinalis), daisies (Bellis perennis), mallow (Malva sylvestris), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), three cornered garlic (Allium triquetrum). Remember to only put in what you are sure of.

Step 8: Comfrey and Goat Cheese Fritters

This is our favourite! Comfrey (Symphytum officinale), again, is a plant which is super good for you and like nettles has many medicinal uses too. These fritters can be filled with a cheese and herb mixture, dipped in a simple batter and fried over the campfire. They are quick and very easy to make.

This plant is also known as Russian Comfrey and is not the same plant as the american wild comfrey (Cynoglossum virginianum).

To begin we chose four nice comfrey leaves and cleaned them. Then we mashed the cheese and herbs together and spread it on two of the leaves.

Usually we use soft cheese mixed with garlic and herbs but today we only had goat's cheese so we used that and it worked out great.

Step 9:

Then we placed the other leaf on top and pressed around the edges. You will see that the leaves are a bit furry / prickly and the top side of the leaves will sort of stick together like velcro.

Then we mixed an egg with a handfull of flour and a teaspoon of baking powder and a splash of milk and mixed it to a pancake batter type consistency. While doing that we put a spoonfull of oil in the frying pan on the camp stove to heat up. We dipped the fritters in the batter and then fried them for a few minutes on each side till golden.

Step 10:

You can make these fritters with other fillings or no filling at all. They are delicious all ways.Some people think they taste a bit like battered fish and are nice with a squeeze of lemon.

Step 11: Orange Cakes With Wild Plum Fool

These little cakes are great fun and are cooked in the peel of the orange in the embers of the fire!

They can be eaten on their own or with any sauce you like but as we found lots of wild plums yesterday we decided to make a plum fool.

You will need:

1 plain yogurt (and then you use the yogurt pot to measure the other ingredients)

6 oranges, cut in half and remove all the inner orange and use about a quarter of the juice and flesh of one orange. You can eat the rest, or drink it.

1 egg

1 pot sugar (we used a mix of white and soft brown)

2 Tablespoons of oil

2 or 3 teaspoons of baking powder

3 pots of flour (we used wholemeal)

Mix it all together and put a big spoonfull in half of the orange peel;

Step 12:

Put the other empty orange half on top and wrap in foil. Then put in the embers to cook. The time it will take will depend on the heat of your fire so you'll have to keep checking.

While the cakes are cooking make the fool. We cut up the plums and mixed them with about the same amount of creme fraiche and a tablespoon of sugar. You can also use cream or yogurt and put in as much sugar as you like.

Step 13:

When the cakes are done, eat them up! You can wait till the cakes have cooled down but we couldn't wait that long and ate them hot!

Bon Appetit!

We hope you enjoy making and eating these recipes


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