Wild Greens and Wild Rice Crumble

The wild greens in this recipe can be supplemented with bolted lettuce, spinach, watercress, Swiss chard or beet or turnip tops. For information on wild greens, see the recipe for Wild Greens and Barley ‘Risotto’.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz / 110 g wild rice
  • 3 lb / 1.35 kg wild greens, such as chickweed, fat hen, wood sorrel, orach, Jack-by-the-hedge, nettles, dock leaves, hogweed, alexander stems, ground elder and dandelion leaves
  • 2–3 shallots or small onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped herbs, such as thyme, marjoram and rosemary
  • 6 oz / 170 g hard cheese, grated
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ pt / 140 ml buttermilk or single cream
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz / 60 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 oz / 60 g nuts, finely chopped

Method

Put the wild rice in a saucepan with about four times its volume of water, bring to the boil, and simmer until the rice is tender. Drain if necessary. Wash, blanch, drain and dry the leaves, as described in the recipe for Wild Greens and Barley ‘Risotto’. Place them in a large saucepan, cover and cook over a fairly high heat, stirring frequently, until the greens have collapsed. Drain them.

Sweat the shallots or onions in the oil in a large saucepan, and then mix in the cooked rice and greens, the herbs and most of the grated cheese. Beat the eggs with the buttermilk or cream, and mix this thoroughly with the vegetables. Season to taste, and spoon into an oiled ovenproof dish. Smooth the top, and sprinkle on the remaining cheese mixed with the breadcrumbs and chopped nuts. Dot with extra butter or oil, if you wish, and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F / Mark 4 for about 45 minutes.

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