March foraging guide: best foods to find and recipe ideas

March heralds the start of spring and while the weather can still be chilly (or very warm!), early spring greens are starting to wake. Here is our guide to the edible plants you can forage for in March.     

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1

Common sorrel

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Sorrel shoots/Credit:Getty

Found throughout Britain, usually where there is iron in the soil, sorrel has long been an important foodstuff, especially as flavouring. It has a sharp, lemony taste from the oxalic acid it contains and a few leaves can enliven the drabbest of salads. You can confirm identification of sorrell by looking at the leaves trailing edges, which end in points.

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Bunch of wild garlic

Pick a handful of sorrel and make this delicious, freshly foraged soup.

Sorrel soup recipe

Ingredients

2 handfuls of sorrel leaves

Half a lettuce

1 onion

Knob of butter

1 potato

1 litre vegetable or chicken stock

250ml milk

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Make this tasty sorrel soup/Credit: istock

Method

Soften sorrel, lettuce and chopped onion in butter then add the diced potato and hot stock. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potato is cooked. Whizz with a stick blender and then add milk, pepper and salt to taste. Simmer for two minutes and then serve.

2

Chickweed

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Chickweed can be found throughout the year and has oval leaves with pointed ends that are smooth and slightly hairy. Most commonly found in fields and on forest floors, chickweed can grow between 5-50cm tall and its leaves can be used in winter salads, sandwiches, soups and stews.

3

Wild garlic

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Woodlands begin to be filled with wild garlic come March/credit: Getty

The plant, native to Britain, is also known as Bear leek, Bear’s garlic, Broad-leaved garlic, Buckrams, Ramsons, Wood garlic and can grow to heights of between 45 and 50 cm.

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The leaves and flowers are edible. Young leaves are delicious added to soups, sauces and pesto. Leaves appear in March and are best picked when young. The flowers emerge from April to June and can add a potent garlic punch to salads and sandwiches.