Nature to Table for Friday Bubbles with Matas Paulinas
To Buy: White asparagus Green asparagus New potatoes Young cabbage leaves First curly kale Butter Cannabis seed salt (if not available, blending cannabis seeds with salt 1:1 ratio will do just fine if not better) Cannabis seed, pumpkin seed, sesame seed oil, any of those in fact To Forage: Dead nettles Ramson leaves and flowers (any Allium family flowers will do just fine) Chive pre-flowering buds with stem Garlic mustard Bronze fennel or leaves from the top of the regular fennel Anise hyssop or sweet cicely Wood sorrel Bird cherry (hackberry) flowers Chickweed
Method: First things first. Herbs that you pick from very close to the ground, such as wood sorrel and chickweed, need to be rinsed very well to get rid of tiny bugs, remaining particles of soil and general dirt. Be gentle and nice to the herbs without damaging them - often just a gentle stream of water running through your hands while your turning herbs from one hand to another will be fine. Be careful to keep the flower intact. Ramson flowers, garlic mustard, bird cherry flowers… I’ll just leave it to you but I never wash them. Set your oven to 195 with max fan. Start cutting the potatoes to bite size pieces and once complete drizzle loads of oil of your choice together with the cannabis seed salt. Toss well. Toss’em like you mean it and put them in the oven over a baking paper or tinfoil. You have 30 minutes. Start peeling white asparagus. Depending on the freshness and young age of your green asparagus you might want to peel the green ones too if the peel is too though. In a hot pan - be generous with butter. Once it starts browning it’s time to throw in the white asparagus and sear it until one side turns brown but not charred. Turn the heat down a bit and throw in a bunch of chive buds with stems and toss everything around so most of the asparagus turn on their other side and chives are evenly distributed. Gently season everything and let it sit in the pan until needed. You have 15 minutes left. Time to take a simple saucepan and fill with a bit of water in the bottom. Set it to boil. Place kale and asparagus in a strainer over the boiling water at the height that your hand can still handle the heat of the steam. Gently toss the kale and green asparagus over the steam so it steams slowly until your preferred texture. With every toss you can actually have a bite and see if it’s there. Once you remove the strainer away from the steam, keep tossing so the kale cools quicker. The green asparagus will be perfect - just between being raw and blanched. Set some green asparagus aside. In the bowl of green asparagus and kale mix in wood sorrel, bronze fennel, a drop of lemon juice and touch of salt. That’s done. Finally chop anise hyssop or sweet cicely and coat the remaining green asparagus with it. A tiny touch of salt to lift it all up.. In a separate bowl arrange your remaining goods in a side dish or snack bowl: a stash of first cabbage leaves, steamed asparagus with anise hyssop and a bunch of garlic mustard stems with leaves and flowers. The potatoes should be golden brown on the edges. Get them out and with a fork or a knife check whether the texture of the potato is right for you. Once they are, toss them in the bowl together with a bit more of cannabis seed salt, more oil if you feel naughty enough and a handful of chickweed and finely chopped ramson leaves in the end. Place the mixture in serving bowl and generously decorate with bird cherry flowers. Remove the white asparagus with chives from the pan and pat dry if needed to remove the excess of butter. Place them in a serving plate in an irregular manner and garnish with all the ramson flowers, garlic mustard and dead nettle flowers. Refresh the kale salad by turning everything a few times in the bowl to get the lemon juice back up. The reality is, that you can mix things in a completely different order, even all in one bowl, and it will blow your mind just because everything is so fresh and so powerful, so seasonal, grows pretty much in the same square meter and they just make sense together - these flavours just need a body such as a potato, asparagus, cod, egg. That’s the beauty of nature.