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A taste of wild Jersey

Jersey’s best-known chef, Shaun Rankin, forages for his favourite seasonal grub on his second home

A taste of wild Jersey
Image: Getty

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Beach eats
Foraging is part of the Island’s heritage, and a movement I’ve been at the forefront of for over eight years. Head to the five-mile bay on the western side of St Ouen to find salty finger — a sea vegetable that’s great cooked. It goes really well with turbot. Grouville Bay is also great to rake for cockles, salt out razor clams and sea beats along the dunes.

Inland excursions
Head for St Martin’s Woods, where you get the first of the wild garlic in spring. It’s great in soups, pesto and my favourite — wild garlic risotto (recipe below). Trinity, in the centre of the island, is covered in lush countryside with spring beauty (miner’s lettuce), which has a fantastic flavour and texture; it goes well in lamb with goat’s curd and minted peas.

Tips for first-time foragers

Research: A plant expert can help identify the subtle differences between plant species.
Practice: Train your eyes to recognise commonly found wild fare like dandelion, purslane, chickweed, clover, lambsquarter and mustard.
Apply: Rather than salt and pepper, try using seaweed and sea purslane to nutritiously season dishes.

Try it at home: Broad bean, wild garlic & parmesan risotto

METHOD
Heat the vegetable stock, and keep warm. In a saucepan, add olive oil, onion, thyme, garlic and bay leaf, and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the rice until it starts to crack. Add white wine followed by a ladleful of stock. Ensure the rice has absorbed the stock before adding more. Continue until the rice is cooked. Remove pan from the heat and beat the butter into the rice. Add the broad beans and wild garlic leaves. Sprinkle grated parmesan, and season.

INGREDIENTS
750ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
Herbs (sprig of thyme; a bay leaf)
2 crushed garlic cloves
350g risotto rice
100ml white wine
75g unsalted butter
150g broad beans, cooked
4 wild garlic leaves, chopped
60g grated parmesan
Sea salt and cracked black pepper


Shaun Rankin // Michelin-starred Rankin’s most recent restaurant ventures include Ormer Jersey, Ormer Mayfair, 12 Hay Hill and Don Street Deli. His first recipe book is Shaun Rankin’s Seasoned Islands.

Published in the June 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)