I was out for a wander in deepest Essex recently and I came across a patch of land where Wild Carrots (Daucus carota) seem to thrive. You can barely take a few steps without tripping over some.

Wild Carrot Leaves

Anyway, I wasn’t entirely prepared, but I did a quick video on my phone so I could show them…

Hairy Bittercress

I ended up gathering quite a few, along with some hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta). The bittercress tastes exactly the same as cress that you might buy from a supermarket (although all the sweeter for being free!).

Hairy Bittercress

Wild Carrots

What to do with these diminutive, white carrots?

Wild Carrot preparation

Firstly, the smaller, younger ones can be eaten raw (and I did), and they make a really nice, sweet snack.

Next, I quickly boiled a couple of the larger, tougher ones. Unsurprisingly, they tasted just like supermarket carrots, but somehow better.

Boiled wild carrots

Then I chopped a few of the roots and some of the leaves into a salad, which was served with a spaghetti Bolognese (which also had a few wild carrots in it).

Finally, I now have a handful of roots macerating in Vodka. I’m hoping that the sweet carrot smell and taste are going to come through.

Wild carrot vodka

One for the future, some kind of foraged carrot-cake?