Spinach, wild herbs and goat’s curd

Spinach, wild herbs and goat’s curd

By
From
Spring
Serves
4
Photographer
Andy Sewell

I was first introduced to foraging a decade ago by Miles Irving when he arrived at Petersham Nurseries with the most beautiful wild herbs. A few years later, I spent a fascinating day with him in Hampshire foraging for edible plants. I remember eating bullrush that day – clean and crunchy, a little like a water chestnut – and pineapple weed, which smells more like pineapple than the fruit itself. One word of caution: if you do decide to forage, ensure that the ground from which you are picking is clean, use a guide book until you feel confident, and wash the herbs really well under gently flowing water before using.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g spinach leaves
1/2 lemon, finely grated zest and juiced
100ml extra virgin olive oil
20 black olives
4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs, finely chopped
a handful foraged herbs, such as wood sorrel, pennywort, pineapple weed and dandelion
220g young fresh goat’s curd
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Wash the spinach really well under cold running water and shake gently to remove the excess water. Place a pan, large enough to hold the spinach comfortably, over a low heat and add the spinach with just the water clinging to the leaves after washing. Cook until the leaves have just wilted, tossing them once or twice to ensure they heat evenly.
  2. Immediately remove from the heat and drain the spinach in a colander, then set aside until cool enough to handle. Squeeze out the excess water using your hands – it is important to remove as much water from the spinach as possible, otherwise the dressing on the leaves will be diluted and taste watery.
  3. Place the spinach in a bowl and add half the lemon juice and a quarter of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Halve, stone and chop the olives fairly finely. Place in a bowl and pour over the rest of the olive oil. Add the chopped parsley and lemon zest and stir well to combine.
  5. Gently wash and pat dry the foraged herbs. Add them to the spinach and toss together using your fingertips. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a little more lemon juice if you think it is needed.
  6. Place a generous spoonful of goat’s curd on each serving plate and pile the spinach and herbs alongside. Spoon over the olive dressing and serve at once. This salad really calls for some warm bread on the side.
Tags:
Skye Gyngell
seasonal
Spring
London
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