Stateside Substitutions for Foraging Recipes

Sea lettuce: could be substituted for Boston lettuceSamphire: use fine green beans, blanched and salted Ice plant: use crunchy salad leaves such as iceberg, endive or RomaineDune celery: use young celery tops or flat-leaf (Italian) parsley • Borage flowers: borage adds cucumber-like flavor, but could be substituted with edible flowers such as violets, pansies or pea flowersNara oil: pumpkin seed oilLaver: noriBokkom: anchovies


WEST COAST OYSTER IN ITS ELEMENT
6 medium oysters from Saldanha Bay, shucked
A large handful of freshly picked sea lettuce
Fresh young ice plant leaves
Samphire tips
Dune celery leaves
Squeeze of fresh lemon
METHOD:
Top the freshly shucked oysters with pieces of freshly picked sea lettuce, young ice plant leaves, samphire tips and dune celery leaves. Add a squeeze of lemon. Serve immediately, balanced on chilled beach stones.


ICE PLANT LEAF SNACK
1 pound fresh filleted firm white fish
Juice of half a lemon
6 medium ice-plant leaves
6 ruby grapefruit segments
Salt and white pepper to taste
Borage flowers
METHOD:
Finely slice the fish fillets and dress with lemon juice. Season with white pepper and salt. Top the fresh ice-plant leaves with a grapefruit segment each. Add some fine slices of marinated fish. Top with fresh borage flowers and serve immediately, encouraging guests to eat these by hand, taco style.


MUSSELS, GOOSEBERRIES, SAUVIGNON BLANC, NASTURTIUM
30 fresh black mussels, cleaned
5 oz. a little more than a 1/2 cup Sauvignon Blanc wine
15 gooseberries
A handful of nasturtium flowers and leaves
Olive oil
METHOD:
In a large pot, over high heat, bring the olive oil up to just below smoking point. Add the mussels all at once and immediately cover with the lid. Cook for a couple of minutes until the shells just start to open, then add the wine. Cook until all the mussels’ shells have opened, stirring occasionally to evenly distribute heat. Strain the mussels, retaining the mussel stock. Remove the mussels from the shell, and add back into the stock. Heat through. Ladle 5 mussels and some sauce into each bowl. Add the fresh gooseberries, nasturtium petals and leaves. Serve immediately.


SPRINGBOK (VENISON), SEAWEED AND BITTER LEAVES FROM THE GARDEN
1 1/3 lb. springbok loin, finely sliced
2 oz. !Nara oil
12 shards of crisply baked laver
Bitter leaves from the garden, such as chicory, endive, celery tops
12 purple pea flowers
Kombucha vinegar
METHOD:
Dress the bitter leaves with !Nara oil and kombucha vinegar. Arrange slices of springbok loin on 6 plates. Top with the dressed bitter leaves, seaweed shards and pea flowers.


ANGELFISH KEBABS
1 1/2 lb. of freshly filleted angelfish, in 18 cubes
2 tablespoons fish masala
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon juice
Vegetable oil for frying
METHOD:
Skewer 3 angelfish cubes each onto 6 bamboo skewers. Dust each kebab generously with fish masala and fry in a skillet for a couple of minutes on each side, until just cooked. Dress with freshly squeezed lemon juice.


(BOKKOM SAMBAL)
1 small onion, finely diced
2 fillets of bokkom, finely diced
1 hard-boiled egg, white and yolk finely diced
A handful of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
A handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Fresh lemon juice
METHOD:
Mix all the chopped ingredients together until well blended. Dress with lemon juice and set aside until ready to plate.
TO SERVE:
Full cream yogurt
Fresh dune spinach leaves
Coriander blossoms
Bokkom sambal
Add a spoonful of yogurt to each plate. Top with the freshly pan-fried angelfish skewers and some dune spinach leaves. Add a spoonful of bokkom sambal. Top with coriander blossoms and serve.

Photography Courtesy of Warren Heath/Bureaux.

Styling Courtesy of Sven Alverding.

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