Additional forage food recipes from In Your Backyard: Urban Harvest

Additional foraging recipes from our special edition In Your Backyard: Urban Harvest.


1 large chopped onion

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

1-2 tsp green curry paste

4 big glove-fulls of fresh nettles

1 head of broccoli

half a medium sized pumpkin, chopped into chunks

1 cup of pearl barley

1 tsp mustard powder

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp of cornflour mixed in ¼ cup cold water


Fry onion and garlic in a generous amount of olive oil until translucent. Add green curry paste, oregano and 3 tbsps of water and simmer for 30 seconds. Add pumpkin and cover with water. Bring to the boil and add pearl barley. Simmer for 30 minutes until barley is cooked. Steam the nettle leaves and broccoli flowerets for 5 mins., then chop finely. Mash the pumpkin in the soup and finally add greens, salt and pepper. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Stir in the cornflour mix. Once the soup has thickened, it is ready to eat.


A tasty and rather fragrant jam can be made by mixing 4 cups of berries with 3 cups of sugar. Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer, stirring often, for 1 hour. Bottle into sterilized jars.



Kawakawa leaves go extremely well with the delicate flavour of the little blue lipped mussels that grow along our shore lines. This recipe makes enough for 2-3 people.

a bucket of mussels in the shell
1 large onion or leek
2 stalks of celery
2 carrots
2 large peeled and chopped potatoes
big handful of watercress
4 large kawakawa leaves

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Chop celery, carrots and the onion or leek and fry in olive oil in a large pot for 10 minutes. Steam open the mussels in another pot and remove from shells.
Strain 2 cups of the liquid from the mussel steaming pot and add this to the vegetables along with 3 cups of water. Add the potatoes.
Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the kawakawa leaves cut into strips and the handful of fresh chopped watercress plus the mussels. Simmer again for 10-15 minutes and eat.For a creamier version, add ½ cup of fresh cream before serving.


Identifying Neptune’s necklace:

This seaweed grows in bead-shaped bunches in the sub-tidal zone. Harvest the parts of the plant closest to the water so that the plant can recover and grow again. Give the strands a good wash, discarding any discoloured beads. Lay it out to dry for a day on a clean towel in the sun. It will let go some of its salt content through evaporation.

Pack strands into jars and fill each one ¾ full of white wine or apple cider vinegar.Top up remaining space with clean tap water. Add 1 tsp sugar, 3 whole cloves of garlic (peeled) and 6 peppercorns. Pop the lid on, give the jar a shake and place in the fridge for a week before digging in!


30-50 onion weed flowers with 3-4 cm of stalk attatched
1 cup fine white rice flour
½ cup tapioca flour
1 egg
cold water
a small handful of freshly picked celery leaves, mint and coriander, chopped finely
½ tsp turmeric and ½ tsp garlic salt
Optional: Chop up the lower sweeter part of the stems and add them to the batter.

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Whisk the flour, egg and enough water together to make a smooth batter. Heat up 1 cm of vegetable oil in a frying pan.
Put all the flowers into the batter and stir them around to cover them. Carefully take one flower at a time by its stalk and place it into the hot oil.
Fry on both sides until golden brown and remove onto paper towels. Excellent eaten immediately with a spicy sauce or chutney.

 In Your Backyard: Urban Harvest, our new special edition, features everything New Zealanders need to know to grow food in the city. It is packed with expert advice on how to start a productive veggie garden, the best crops to grow and how to create awesome soil.

PLUS: space-saving ideas for vertical growing, container gardening, hydroponics, microgreens, espalier  trees and edible hedges  – even how to forage.


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