Thursday, 12 January 2012
One of the most important wild foods for which we forage in the autumn is hazel. The nuts are high in essential oils and protein. Generally speaking, they store well. Making a nut loaf is a good way to create a healthy meal. I made one a couple of days ago.
You will need a supply of breadcrumbs to make it. Whatever you do, don't waste money buying ready made breadcrumbs from the supermarket. Just make them yourself from stale bread. Leave it to dry for a few days. Then put it through the food processor to turn it into crumbs. If you are feeling particularly brutal, lay out dry bread on a wooden board and apply a rolling pin to it. It's good for working out your frustrations!
Quantities in this recipe are up to you but avoid using too many breadcrumbs. I recommend about half the volume is breadcrumbs. The rest should be chopped hazel nuts and onions or leeks. Add some beaten eggs or a bit of cooking oil (or both), sufficient to ensure that all ingredients bind together. Some herbs may make a pleasant addition though I didn't add any when I made the one in the photo.
Then put into a baking tin and roast in the oven at 180C for 25 minutes. Serve hot or cold.