Colliers RECIPES

Stir It Up

From time to time we will post recipes from our chefs...

Dandelion and Burdock Drink

With thanks to Adele Nozedar author of ‘Foraging with kids’, ‘The Hedgerow Handbook’ and owner of Brecon Beacons Foraging for giving me permission to use her recipe.

  • (Makes 700-800ml )
  • 1l (35fl oz) water
  • * 1 ½ tsp each ground burdock root and ground dandelion root *
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 whole star anise or 2 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • 350g (12oz) caster sugar
  • Sparkling water and ice, to serve
  • 1. Put all the ingredients, except for the sugar and sparkling water, into a heavy saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  • 2. Let cool, then strain into a bowl, using a fine-mesh sieve lined with muslin to make sure no little bits manage to escape.
  • 3. Rinse the pan, return the liquid to it and set over a low heat. Add the sugar, and warm through until melted. Set aside until cold.
  • 4. Dilute the syrup to taste with sparkling water, stir well and serve over ice or dilute to taste with still water and enjoy it warmed up.
  • 5. Pour into sterilized bottles and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Alternatively freeze (leave space at the top of the bottles for the liquid to expand as it freezes) and defrost as needed.

Preparing the Burdock and Dandelion roots

*You will need to harvest and dry out the roots of both the Burdock and the Dandelion.

  1. The best way to harvest the Burdock roots without breaking them too much is to first choose a wet day, so the soil will be easier to break up, and then to dig a trench around the plant so that you can access the root more easily. The roots should be harvested in the autumn of the first year of growth – that is, before the distinctive burrs have appeared.
  2. At first, the roots are white; on exposure to the air, they turn yellow.
  3. Wash the root, then peel away the bitter rind.
  4. Grate, and soak in water for 20 minutes or so.
  5. Drain well.
  6. For the Dandelion roots try to dig up as much of the long tap root as possible. The spindly bits are fine to harvest, too.
  7. Remove the leaves.
  8. Break off as much of the clumpy mud as possible, then put the roots in a bucket.
  9. Rinse them repeatedly in cold running water.
  10. Chop the roots either in a food processor or with a sharp knife. Put the chopped roots into a bowl of clean water, agitating them with your hands – the water will go slightly milky. Rinse and repeat until the water runs clear.
  11. To dry out your roots, set your oven to a very low heat (110°C/225°F/Gas mark ¼). If you have a range cooker, use the coolest part.
  12. Spread the roots in an even layer on a baking sheet and pop into the oven. It should take about 2 hours to dry the roots thoroughly. They will feel brittle when they’re done and will break easily.

Colliers Cookies

  • 150g salted butter, softened
  • 80g light brown sugar
  • 80g granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 225g plain flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 175g plain chocolate chips or chunks
  • Heat the oven to 190C/fan170C/gas 5 and line two baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
  • Put 150g softened salted butter, 80g light brown sugar and 80g granulated sugar into a bowl and beat until creamy.
  • Beat in 2 tsp vanilla extract and 1 large egg.
  • Sift 225g plain flour, ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda and ¼ tsp salt into the bowl and mix it in.
  • Add 175g plain chocolate chips or chunks and stir well.
  • Use a teaspoon to make small scoops of the mixture, spacing them well apart on the baking trays.
  • Bake for 8–10 mins until they are light brown on the edges and still slightly soft in the centre if you press them.

Leave on the tray for a couple of mins to set, and then lift onto a cooling rack.