There is a saying that ‘One can't argue about tastes’. The fellow residents were curious about the flavours of the strange things I took home. Sometimes unclear how I best describe the different impressions I invited them to a tasting session. Depending on the goodies I found that day, I chose the young leaves of NETTLE, BLACK CURRANT, MEADOWSWEET and the shoots of the JAPANESE KNOTWEED.
Considered in Europe as the most destructive plant in the wild, one shouldn’t be worried about over harvesting. It's a source of resveratrol (anti-cancer) and vitamin C. Very common areas where knotweed can be found is near water, car parks, lay-bys. In wastelands or an area that is not well looked-after, the chances of knotweed growing is high. Knotweed is hardly ever spread by seed and instead it sends roots down growing through concrete, damaging roads and just about anything made by humans. In domestic gardens Japanese knotweed can establish itself by being transported in soil or compost, therefore one shouldn’t be putting waste in the compost bin.
YOUNG LEAVES: SPRING
They like to grow on nutrient-rich soil near water. Beneficial for skin, acne and anti-aging. It's used as an alternative for the Aspirin, relieving pain and swellings.
To make my performance more attractive, a cake was served after the session with a herb they had tasted before, namely the nettle. Although reading the forms my participants had filled in, I was still in suspense to see if it would be a success.
An odd combination although surprisingly delicious. On request the recipe. Really!
Calories: 200 kcal per serving
Cost: 0,30 € per serving
200 grams white flour
2,5 tbsp baking powder
150 grams honey
70 grams sugar
150 grams butter
2 handfuls of raw nettles
Grease the sides and base of the tin with a little butter.
Preheat the oven at 150°C.
Steam the nettles for 5 minutes and put aside.
Break the butter into pieces & put in a saucepan with the sugar & honey.
On a low heat, stir until melted.
Once the nettles are cooled, blend with the eggs to make a smooth, green pulp.
Sieve flour and baking powder in a large bowl and gradually beat in the melted sugar and butter mix.
Then pour in the pureed nettles and beat together.
Pour into the cake tin & bake for about 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool down before removing from the tin.
Decorate the cake as you wish. I topped the cake with sour cream (20%) and some edible flours.