The flowers are tiny and white, the leaves are almost nettle like yet heart shaped, and the stems are green and almost brittle.
Jack is welcome in the hedges of Rudding Park (if I have anything to do with it!)… I am a fan!
This foraged find is found all around the isles of Great Britain and their size varies from 10 cm to a meter tall - perhaps Jack and the Beanstalk has nothing on Jack by the Hedge….
It is best in spring and early summer so fill your boots folks, it is time to jack this groovy forager find!
So I would rather jack than Fleetwood Mac! Oh my wild cooks the puns are flowing today - who remembers that dodgy pop song in the 80’s?!
How to put it to good use…
Here are a few pictures from my cookery demonstration at Malton Food Festival which was organised by Elaine Lemm. You will see the Jack by the Hedge brimming out of the bowl and taking charge of the demo… he is a forager’s find not to be messed with!
My friend Nigel Lister, from Wetherby-Ox Close Farm game suppliers, spoke to the crowd about the pigeons he shot for the demonstration whilst I cooked up the ingredients for the dish.
So I made a quick salad using Womersley blackberry vinegar and Wharfe Valley Rapeseed oil mixed together with a foragers salad. For the salad I used Jack by the Hedge, wood sorrel, wild garlic, chick weed, ground ivy, dandelion and wild garlic flowers. This salad was nice and peppery and went really well with the pigeon.
Other uses for our punchy friend Jack could be a stuffing for fish, a cream based sauce for chicken or perhaps even a base for a beef fillet as a vegetable simply sautéed in butter and the beef fillet sat on top like the king of the castle.
Jack in the Hedge has a mustardy flavour and supposedly can heal any sores or ulcers, so it is a wonder find folks.
Do you like Jack by the Hedge or am I Jill running up that hill?!