Armed with our pocket guide of the Israeli edible wild flowers and herbs edited by “Nature in Israel”, Dan and I walked in March the countryside to forage for wild herbs. It was the first time I was doing something like that, and it made me feel good – I suddenly felt self-sufficient to gather in the wilderness foodstuff I would actually be using in my cooking. I think this is a cool, fun and healthy (as we walk a lot !) way to spend a family day out.
But, a word of caution here: some wild herbs and flowers are toxic for human consumption. It it obviously essential to do some research before foraging for wild edibles. Also, even if we had visuals from the pocket guide, it was still sometimes challenging to identify them. We picked three wild herbs – the thyme leaved savory, wild marjoram and Israeli thyme. These are rather easy to identify at 100%, and it seemed like a good way to familiarise ourselves with foraging.
Arrived at home, I washed the herbs thoroughly and place them on a clean towel to remove the excess water. Then, I spread them on a tray and let them dry naturally turning them a couple of times. When fully dried, I picked the leaves off and chopped them finely together. They are now stored in a food container.
I have used them in my cooking (for example in this recipe) instead of Herbes de Provence, and they are so fragrant. I am not sure if it’s because they were wild herbs or simply because I foraged them!