On Saturday 23 June, Dr Sue Dean and three African Relish guests ventured up the Gordon Koppie to forage and explore what the veld had to offer. Canadian Marie-Louise and Joburg based friends Mary and Jonathan enjoyed their morning sourcing material for their cooking class with resident chef Camilla Comins.
Plants on the Koppie
They had a look at plants that would bear berries in autumn (March-April) but currently had no fruit. These are Kritikom (Dispyros ramulosa), Koeniebos (Searsia undulata), and Karoo Noemnoem (Carissa bispinosa haematocarpa). We also saw and collected fruit from Rooibessie voëlent (Viscum rotundifolium) and twigs from Wit voëlent (Viscum capense) for making tea. Another tea plant available in this locality is Bergvaal tee (Helichrysum zeyheri).
They then went to forage on disturbed land (abandoned ploughed fields and vacant lots) in Van Dykstraat for Suurings (Oxalis pes-caprae) for making a sour soup. Also harvesting red Poproos (Hermannia filifolia) flowers for garnishing dessert. At the Renu-Karoo nursery shop we also collected a few rose-scented Malva (Pelargonium graveolens) leaves and some White tee-suiker (Pollichia campestris) berries.
At Wolwekraal Nature Reserve we foraged on deep alluvial soil for the red berries of Wolwedoring/kniedoring (Lycium oxycarpum) which is related to goji berry. We also collected Soutslaai (Mesembryanthemum crystalliinum) spinach and botterblom (Gazania lichtensteiniana) flowers as garnish.
On the menu
Suuring soup with sourdough roosterkoek; Creamy beer mussels poached with ginger, ginger and chilli and served with Soutslaai; a variety of infused tea made from Voëlent, Balderja and Vaalberg; Kudu smoked with Kapokbos and wood chips, served with nasturtium mayo and Kniedoring berries; foraged from Dr Pete Reinders’ garden – pickled Japanese radish, roasted kohlrabi with oregano seeds, garlic and lemon, roast purple cauliflower with orange and Kredouw olive oil Favalosa varietal; Rose geranium infused panna cotta with wild honey, gooseberries and garnished with poproos and wit teesuiker berries.
After an educational fun day out and about and cooking in the kitchen, our happy guests returned to their cottages with a botanical handout from Dr Dean and creative recipes from Camilla to experiment at home.