After waxing lyrical about dandelion leaves a couple of days ago, I came across this recipe by Anne Tanne on Rebecca Hartman's blog. Mixing spring greens with pancakes is something I have never tried, so I shall have to experiment!
(Anne Tanne has a dutch blog about herbs. She has given me permission to post this recipe here)
Cress and Buckwheat pancakes
My recipe (I try to convert the units):
150 gr buckwheat flour (5.3 ounce)
100 gr whole wheat flour (3.5 ounce)
a pinch of salt.
beat 2 eggs with a bottle of beer (I’m Belgian after all - instead of beer you can use a cup of sparkling water)
mix with the flour, and add milk until you have a batter ‘en ruban’ (a batter that drips from the spoon as if it were a ribbon)
Leave it for half an hour. Now you can pick your herbs. I pick a large saladbowl full of spring green: dandelion leaves (lots of them), all kinds of cresses, rocket, yellow rocket… chick weed, yarrow leaves, a very small amount of common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) - never more than 2 or 3 leaves, a handfull of chives, or wild garlic, or bear’s garlic, or….
Chop the herbs, and mix with the batter… eventually, you can add some more milk if the batter is too thick now.
I found several different yarrow leaf sites at the weekend and the tansy was growing in great profusion. I'd never thought before about adding them to salads alongside dandelions and sorrel, but now I shall. One day I shall have my own watercress bed - but that's still in my dreams!
Ohh sounds nice and the mention of tansy takes me back to a Tansy pudding one of the aunties used to make, haven't had that since I was about 9!!! It was one of those Easter treats that was an acquired taste, but when you got the taste for it... Sadly she died and I have no idea how she made it, I did come across a recipe from a book called 'The Good Housewife's Handmaid', which was published around 1588. The recipe went like this:- "Blanch and pund a quarter of a pund of Jourdan almonds, put them into a stew pan, add a gill of a syrup of Roses, the crumb of a French roll, some grated nutmeg, half a glass of brandy, two tablespoonfuls of tansy juice, three ounces of fresh butter and some slices of citron. Pour over it a pint and a half of boiling cream or milk; sweeten and when cold mix it, add the juice of a lemon and eight eggs beaten. It may be either boyled or baked." No idea if that's what my auntie made, if anybody has a more up to date recipe please share!
Re watercress, I've been working on an article about herbs to grow in ponds just recently, I was always under the impression that watercress would only grow where you had running water?! But last year I popped some in my little pond and its really taken off, not harvested any yet, unsure as to whether it will be okay to use from the pond. It does look pretty though and when I just went out to look I noticed that the calamus root, irises and meadowsweet were on the way up. You could always try having a water barrel with a little pump fountain and try growing watercress in that, but I agree having a watercress bed sounds like a dream come true. I just want a bigger garden lol!
Re: Spring Greens
March 28 2008, 5:49 PM
Last year Douglas managed to grow watercress very succesfully for the first time.He got a large plastic tub and drilled a hole in the side and put in a plastic tap.He filled the bottom of it with gravel and planted some watercress.He put it under the outside tap and he covered the gravel with water and each day(in theory,sometimes its every other day ) opens the tap to drain it and then when he closes it,refills it with fresh water.It`s kept us in cress all year,even if at the moment it is only fairly small amounts. Will try and take a photo and put it on here so you can see what i mean.
Re: Spring Greens
March 29 2008, 12:36 AM
Now isn't cress wonderful!
Not having thought of Linda's partner's ingenious idea I have been struggling along with Land Cress. To be fair it is rather succulent and easy to grow (think I got my seeds from Nicky's) but am really keen to try real watercress which doesn't die on you over a weekend away.
Thanks, Linda, nice idea!
March 29 2008, 2:48 PM
I'd like to see photos of the watercress bed that Douglas has constructed, sounds like a perfect solution, what a clever man! I told Si about it and he said as we have a spare pond pump, he's going to see about using the idea of Douglas's but instead of having a tap, he said we could make a cress bed water feature! As I wanted the sound of running water it sounds like a good idea, just need a suitable tub now, I actually have 2 big bags of pea gravel we can use. Although I like the idea of being able to draw the water off to water other things.
We went to the local garden centre yesterday and I picked up some Variegated Land Cress and some Corn Salad as both look like they'll be good in salads, I did notice that on the back of the watercress packet it said:- "Although usually grown commercially in water it can be grown in the garden soil provided it is given plenty of water and will crop from early summer till around Christmas if protected with cloches etc. You can also grow it in a container stood in a saucer of water." Interesting! I think if I pull some of the watercress plants out of the pond and rinse them I'll give the pot and saucer of water method a try!
Interesting fact about watercress is its actually a nasturtium (Nasturtium officinale) a member of the brassica family and what everyone knows as Nasturtium's (Tropaeolum majus) are actually Tropaeolaceae, granted another member of the brassica family but Watercress and Nasturtiums are not directly related.
Alresford in Hampshire have hosted the Watercress Festival 2008 festival for the past 6 years (including 2008), and this years festival marks the bi-centenary of the British Watercress Industry, so the town of Alresford is promising that this years festival will be extra special. The festival takes place on Sunday May 11th and celebrity chef Anthony Worrall-Thompson will be there signing copies of a new anniversary watercress recipe book. It all sounds lovely, but I have my doubts about the watercress trifle! The website linked to above has some recipes to try, I'll be having this one for lunch tomorrow http://www.watercress.co.uk/recipes/salads.129.shtml YUM!
Re: Wonderful Watercress
March 30 2008, 6:21 PM
Picture as requested. However I hope people aren't disapointed as in your reply Debs, you bigged it up a bit. I did say in my original posting that it was a large plastic tub ! lol !
This message has been edited by DebsCook from IP address 188.8.131.52 on Mar 31, 2008 12:53 PM This message has been edited by DebsCook from IP address 184.108.40.206 on Mar 30, 2008 9:43 PM This message has been edited by lucyann3 from IP address 220.127.116.11 on Mar 30, 2008 6:22 PM
Re: Wonderful Watercress
March 30 2008, 8:35 PM
Sorry---photo doesn`t come up on this after all,but if you go to the posting about the medieval herb day,then you can see the picture of Douglas`s watercress container--this is getting to be such a fuss about alittle thing !!!
Re: Wonderful Watercress
March 31 2008, 12:54 PM
I managed to get the image into the post, so people can see it, its grand, does the job! When we have ours perfected I'll share the photo Where did Douglas get the tap???
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