We Love … Hairy Bittercress

Not the most enticing name, but this little plant may surprise you.

Hairy Bittercress is one of those plants that gets tagged as a weed and discounted. However this lovely little plant can grow through the winter, making it perfect for November/December foragers.

Its leaves and flowers are both edible.

Pick the leaves and flowers from the middle of the plant and, since hairy bittercress grows tight to the ground, wash them well to get rid of any dust or grit – or worse!

The leaves and flowers have a peppery flavour which works well in winter salads, especially when mixed with goat’s cheese and beetroot.

Or you can add them to soups, salsa and pesto to add pepperiness.

You will find this robust, hardy plant growing on bare ground in cleared vegetable patches so you probably won’t need to venture far from home for a winter harvest. But if you are foraging further afield, please remember the simple guidelines.

  • Always be sure you are sure of the plant before you pick it and never eat any plant you are unsure of.
  • Leave plenty behind for wildlife. The berries are favourites of pheasants and blackbirds
  • Make sure you have permission to pick and that the bushes are not part of someones garden!
  • Only pick where plants are plentiful

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