The Burren in bloom is a rare treat if you are lucky enough to find yourself in this unique limestone landscape any time of year. But, from April to June it is especially enchanting. I was happy to bring a few American friends to a limestone plateau at the base of a fog shrouded mountain that are now carpeted with rare flowers of purple, pink, yellow and blue. As we wandered from rock to rock with the call of the cuckoo as our guide, I thought of a how the inspiration for the tunes of the traditional music we heard in the pub the night before come from the land, the water, the history and antiquity of the land. I thought of someone who recently told me she heard the strains of a uillean pipe coming from a Burren stream traveling to the sea. Poetry in motion. Life in Ireland.
It’s that time of year in Ireland to get busy foraging for wild edibles. The hedgerows, stream beds and coastlines are full of delicious herbs, berries, seaweeds, flowers, and nutritious plants all for the taking. I recently made dandellion syrup and wild gartlic pesto. Rhubarb and elderflower cordials are next on the menu! The wild garlic, which can be found mainly in damp areas such as low lying stream beds, is a particular favorite. Substituting the wild garlic for the basil and garlic cloves from my vegetarian cookbook Coming Home To Cook made a subtle yet pungent sauce for a nice organic pasta dish. And, use the delicate white flowers as a garnish for a colorful salad. Take a quart of wild garlic leaves, pulse in a food processor with 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, 1 cup of really good olive oil, a sprinkling of sea salt and crushed black pepper. Add a 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese and blend until smooth. Enjoy!