Chef's Choice: Chris Duckham on locally foraged leaves
Cote du Nord's chef and local GP talks about wild plants he likes to cook with
I love foraging for leaves that will bring a twist to some of our dishes, something our customers might not be expecting.
I pick the nettles that grow abundantly around the chicken shed in spring, when the leaves are still small, then simply douse them in flour and deep fry them to produce lovely crispy leaves. I serve these with my peat-baked potatoes and a sprinkling of Crowdie cheese as a simple dish halfway through the set menu.
Another wild plant I like to cook with is wood sorrel, which comes into flower in early summer. Its refreshing lemon scent makes it ideal as a palate cleanser – I mix it with juiced cucumber to make a sorbet, which I serve with a gin and tonic froth as a refresher between the cheese course and dessert.
Chris Duckham is Head Chef at Cote du Nord, Bettyhill as well as being the local GP.