It too me thirteen years to travel back to Knoydart, but took less than thirteen seconds for me to fall in love with the place all over again.

I owe my entire discovery of this rare corner of Scotland to Jackie Robertson who picked me up hitchhiking so long ago and showed me the loch and mountains and woods that she loves so dearly. Knoydart is a truly wild place, and it took Jackie taking me into the forest to really appreciate how alive Scotland is–this is not the gloomy woods of darker fairy tales, but a veritable rain forest. All the plants were happy and green and wet, flourishing and thriving in the midst of autumn.

In the space of an hour, we gathered brambles (blackberries), chanterelle mushrooms, wild mint (for tea, yum), and heaps of wild wood sorrel. As a city boy, I was amazed at how much food is just growing in the forest, ready for the taking.

Though I’d never tasted wood sorrel before, I loved the crisp and tart flavor, almost like a sweet and sour radish. The herb adds lots of flavor to soups and salads (and sauces). To that end, Jackie was kind enough to share her own personal recipe with me (and the internet!)

Knoydart House Wild Wood Sorrel Mayonnaise

Ingredients

  • ½ small clove garlic
  • Handful of fresh picked wild Knoydart wood sorrel
  • Hebridean or Maldon Sea salt (or you can make your own)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large, free-range farm egg yolks
  • ½ tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 75ml rapeseed oil or olive oil (coldpressed virgin)

Method

  • Chop up your wild Knoydart Sorrel, set aside.
  • Crush the garlic and add a pinch ofsalt, then thoroughly mix in a bowl with the egg yolks, vinegar mustard and twist of cracked black pepper.
  • Combine your oils and gently (slowly) start whisking into the egg mix, a few drops at a time to start with, whisking in each drop so it is properly combined, before adding the next. The secret to this is in a laid back west coast approach…not too fast but a steady process. Add more vinegar, pepper or salt to taste. Lastly fold in your chopped fresh Knoydart wood sorrel. Best served with Loch Nevis fresh creel caught langoustines and a glass of chilled Prosecco!
  • You can add more garlic at the beginning if you prefer a more garlicky aioli mayonnaise accompaniment.

Comments

  1. Steve jamme
    Afton, virginia. USA
    October 12, 2013, 4:35 am

    Wonderful piece on Scotland and foraging. I am slowly learning of the wild edibles on the mountain sides of the Shenandoah NP. Thanks for inspiration and recipe.