How to find and make use of British wild flora.

Why? Gram for gram, leafy greens and berries are EXPENSIVE. They're also drowned in pesticides.

Yet we have an amazing array of beautiful greens and fruits available. If you live in the city you'll need to soak and prep them well to cleanse off the smog and grime from the city air (though I'd recommend doing this with ANYTHING, even store-bought stuff has sat in city-air long enough to get a bit nasty), if you live in the country a rinse and a cursory insect-check will do.

I'll start with better-known vegetation and post a recipe every time I come up with one. Dandelions are first, as our garden's full.

DANDELIONS.

What are they?
Leafy greens and bright yellow flowers.

Where to find them?
EVERYWHERE.
Gardens, walls, fields, cracks in the pavement...
Heck, offer to "weed" a neighbour's garden for free. You'll get a ton of dandelions and maybe some chickweed and nettles and stuff too. Free salad!

How to identify them?
The easiest way is through their distinctive flowers.
Macro_dandelion_Fcb981.jpg
But flowerless dandelions aren't hard to identify either. Look out for a flat-ish bush without much, if any, of a stem. The leaves should be rounded on top and have dents down both sides. Sometimes the side of the leaf looks wavy, othertimes quite jagged. All dandelions and all edible.
dandelion.JPG

Advice?
Pick only fresh and green leaves. There WILL be some damage, but an entirely yellow plant is to be avoided. Tear off any yellowed or eaten parts when preparing.
Avoid thick stems if you aren't keen on the bitterness.

How to eat?
Raw or cooked. Both are fine. Just make sure to clean them well!

Recipes coming up over the next few days.