Mediterranean Wild Food - Rosemary
By Mike on Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 21:36 - Permalink
Easter 2009 - My endearment to wild foraged food doesn't take a break when I go on holiday - in fact, quite the contrary is true - travel affords the opportunity for new wild food experiences.
Rosemary, as a kitchen garden herb is very familiar to me, but out here in Southern Spain, it grows wild everywhere.
I could have picked some from a roadside or any patch of scrub or waste ground, but instead, I got some from almost the highest point in the Sierra de Espuña - it doesn't grow right up at the peak, but this plant was found at about 1,300 metres above sea level.
I suppose I could waffle on about how the aroma is enhanced by the altitude, clean mountain air, etc - and maybe that's true - or not - but it is true that wild-growing rosemary here - wherever it is picked - has a more intense and pungent flavour than the stuff I can pick from the pampered, well-watered bush in my own garden.
Wild Herbs In Spain
Rosemary, Thyme and Lavender are all really common wild plants here in Southern Spain - I never quite get over the feeling that I'm walking around in someone's garden when I see them growing abundantly on hillsides as I explore the countryside.
I didn't really want to do anything too elaborate with it - preferring to let the star ingredient shine through, so I just made a batch of my basic bread dough and used the Rosemary, along with some olive oil, to bake it as Focaccia - a bit like this recipe.
The result made an excellent accompaniment to pasta with a Bolognese-style sauce. I saved one sprig of fresh Rosemary - complete with flowers - for a garnish.