A traditional Iranian dish with wild embellishments...

This recipe is lifted straight out Nigel Slater's section of this month's Observer Food Monthly - only with wild embellishments. As soon as I saw the pictures, I started imagining the spinach (which itself is Slater's own embellishment of this traditional Iranian dish) replaced by a mixture of sweet wild leaves...

Ingredients (serves 2-3): 
- 2 medium onions (one finely chopped, the other sliced into rings);
- 1.5 tablespoons rape seed oil;
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced;
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric;
- 200g cooked chickpeas (½ a tin);
- 200g cooked haricot beans (½ a tin);
- 50g uncooked small brown lentils;
- 20g cooked toothed wrack (from stock making process);
- 500ml wrackstock (see recipe below - or alternatively, a stock cube plus 500ml of water);
- 50g linguine; 
- Green leaves of: hogweed (roughly chopped), sea aster and ox-eye daisy (as in, with stalks removed- you may decide removing all the stalks from the ox-eye is too much of a faff, but with the final texture of the dish in mind, I recommend it)
- a tablespoon of chopped wild chervil (green part only);
- 125ml sour cream
- sea salt and black pepper to taste.



1. Fry chopped onions gently until just beginning to colour then add the garlic and turmeric, and cook for another 2 minutes.

2. Add the cooked chickpeas and haricot beans along with the dry lentils and stock then simmer for 18 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the linguine then cook for another 10 minutes.

4. Slowly fry the onion rings in butter until deeply brown- about half an hour.

5. With all of the preceding done, in a separate pan, wilt the hogweed for five minutes and both the aster and ox-eye daisy for two minutes.

6. Drain in a sieve, cool under the cold tap then gently squeeze out excess moisture then add to the main dish, followed by the cooked toothed wrack, chopped wild chervil leaf and the sour cream.

7. Serve into bowls then lastly, fold in the fried onion rings.


Wrackstock recipe

- 70g toothed wrack minus tips;
- 700ml water (top up as needed, so that your final quota of liquid is 500ml),
- 1 small carrot, grated;
- a couple of celery batons;
- an onion, quartered.


1. Simmer all the ingredients for two hours, or until the wrack becomes soft, then strain.

2. Remove and rinse the toothed wrack and snip off any tough bits lower down fronds- the cooked wrack can then be used in stews and casseroles, fried with garlic or added to salads.