Forage from Scotland's natural bounty with chef Paul Wedgwood
- Rachel Kavish Wheatley
- 13 May 2019
Foraged ingredients are crucial on the menu of many of our best restaurants, but how easy is it to forage for your own ingredients?
Foraged ingredients are bang on-trend in these days of seasonal, local produce. In the woodland charm of Colinton Dell, or the coastal beauty of Tyninghame, chef Paul Wedgwood (of the eponymous Wedgwood the Restaurant) teaches small groups how to find, forage, and prepare the bounty of our native larder.
A self-taught forager with years of practice under his boots, Wedgwood's enthusiasm is infectious. Join him for a morning outing and before you know it you'll be identifying sweet cicely in the undergrowth and gobbling up its liquorice flavoured leaves. Once you know what to look for, wild garlic and three-cornered leeks are suddenly everywhere and that prickly gorse bush seems all the more attractive once you tune into its coconut-like scent.
After identifying and tasting your way through the season's wild harvest it's back to Wedgwood the Restaurant. A refreshing aperitif of prosecco laced with flowering currant cordial awaits, followed by a seven-course foraged lunch complete with matching wine, each course highlighting the ingredients spotted earlier. There's charred hogweed with its rich buttery flavour complemented by slightly bitter dandelion aioli. Stinging nettle panna cotta is earthy and light with beetroot and pink purslane. Pungent salted elderberries complement pan-fried cod with delicate dulse linguini. For the final dish, the aniseed flavour of sweet cicely is made into a parfait and punched up with rich dark chocolate and absinthe gel.
The Wedgwood foraging experience is offered seasonally, though they'll happily provide one-on-one or private group outings on request – an inspiring way to start a morning, and a delicious way to end an afternoon.