Mary Sheehan Coming Home To Cook

April 4, 2009

Nettle soup

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 5:13 pm

IFriday was an overcast day so I headed to Robin and Miriams to drop off Burren slow food festival bookmarks www.slowfoodclare.com Robin is a farmer and a  beekeeper and has hives all over the Burren. He sells his honey at the Galway Farmers Market and later in the season will add his organic produce. He is part of the Banner Beekeepers and will be giving a talk on the cultural tent during the festival. Miriam sells gorgeous hats and scarves that she knits from Irish wool (the hat I’m wearing in the Sluichean posting is one of Miriam’s). They have a beautiful farm way up on the top of a hill in Kilnaboy with a spectacular view of the Mountains and the Burren. As Robin was pointing out landmarks in the distance, 2 little goat kids were happily playing together in the meadow. More bliss in West Clare!  I then drove across the valley to the heart of the Burren and  spent a few hours at Annalieses making nettle soup. Many of the pictures of goats, plants and fruits in Coming Home To Cook are from Annaliese’s farm. Nettles grow everywhere there is evidence of human habitation. So, look  around old ruins, compost piles and cemeteries! It is high in iron and can be steamed and eaten like any green leafy plant, steeped in boilig water for tea or dried for use in tea or as an ingredient in an herbal mixture for cooking. Very versatile!  To pick you must wear heavy gloves, as the stingers are fierce and will keep stinging for hours. The top growth is the most tender and best for soup so we snapped off 2 big buckets and got cooking. Here’s the recipe that makes a smooth, delicious and highly nutritious bowl of  Nettle Soup which is gluten and dairy free:

In a heavy soup pot heat 1 tbl. olive oil, add 2 chopped onions, 4 chopped medium cloves garlic, let simmer until browned then add 2 qts of nettles. No need to chop, they will cook down.  Mix all together until nettles are beginning to wilt. Add 8 chopped small potatoes. Add enough vegetable stock to cover, sea salt and ground black pepper to taste and let simmer until potatoes are cooked. Add more stock as it cooks.  Puree in a blender and it’s ready to serve.  Everyone has their own nettle soup recipe, but here’s what makes Annaliese’s different. In the fall she makes a dried herbal mix, think Herbes de Burren (!) from the seasons abundant crop.  In this particular mix she had dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, summer savory and lavender flower.                                                                                                               So, experiment and make this soup your own by adding whatever you like and enjoy!

A great review and flowers!

Filed under: home base — admin @ 2:30 am

Mary!! This book is wonderful. I met you at the Clifden Health Fair, I was one of the therapists at  Pranic Healing table. I have used so many of the recipes from Coming Home To Cook and to my absolute delight, they all work out the way it says they will!!   My husband and kids love the veggie patties and, of course, the honey ginger carrots. Thank you, so much for this great treasure. I would like to ask you how you made the quinoa that day. I remember you said it was a mix between the pilaf and quinoa recipes in the book, I’ve been craving it since I had it a few weeks ago!!   I can’t thank you enough, Jessica These little blue flowers are spring gentians. They are the most sought after wildflower in the Burren. Usually, they flower in late April but I found 3 little ones on the Commons Road in Kilnaboy. In a few weeks there will be patches of them peaking up through the rocky limestone of the Burren and the Aran Islands.

Kilrush Farmers Market

Filed under: home base — admin @ 1:30 am

I returned to sell at the Kilrush Market this week. It was a glorious hot spring day filled with good craic, folks happy to be buying fresh sluichean, cheese, breads, scones, crepes, Dingle Bay seafood, veggies, plants of all varieties (like this pink flowering red currant bush) and daffodils!

April 1, 2009

Just another day in the country and a recipe

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 12:31 am

Today was another day for harvesting seaweed so I took off for Creegh to pick up Bridget’s Woofer (workers on organic farms). Low tide was at 3:00 so I had time to meet Blossom, the newly born donkey.  In the warm  sun shine and to the roar of the Atlantic, we picked 2 buckets in an hour, I’m getting better at this!          Back at the farm, Bridget had prepared a lovely lunch. It’s the end of March and 90% of the meal was from her tunnel garden.  I devoured a heaping plate of fresh greens, sauteed jerusalem artichokes, grated raw turnips and beetroot, pasta with pesto made from mustard greens and her own goats cheese. Fresh and Lovely!  You don’t need basil to make a wonderful pesto. Mustard greens give it a strong, tart flavor but it’s great for a change. Here’s my basic Pesto recipe from Coming Home To Cook, and, of course  it’s gluten free.

Puree 3 cups greens, add 4 large cloves garlic, 1 cup pine nuts, 1 cup olive oil, 1 cup grated parmesan, salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.  Serve over a hearty pasta.

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