Lots of us enjoy gathering wild, growing wild and going wild. Picking apricots, wild plums and berries from trees on public land, apples along the roadside including the long-standing tree on Jerrabomberra Avenue, unsprayed blackberries by the track, wild fennel from State Circle to Jerrabomberra Wetlands, and collecting kelp from approved beaches. Some people like forest bathing. We could sing Wild Thing by The Troggs, a great song to make your heart sing.
Analiese Gregory has "wild" down to a fine art. After cooking at some of the world's best restaurants, the New Zealand-born chef moved to Tasmania in 2017 where she has been foraging, hunting and cooking.
The results have culminated in the first book from this adventurous chef, How Wild Things Are (Hardie Grant Books. $45).
Gordon Ramsay calls Gregory "a force to be reckoned with", which is obvious in photos of her learning how to kill roosters for the poaching pot, fly fishing up to her waist in a river, cooking abalone fritters which are "a kiwi beachside snack", hunting with gun for Cape Barren goose on Flinders Island.
She went spear-fishing at two in the morning off Bruny Island - the coldest she had ever been in her life - to catch flounder which her partner pan-fried and served with dill pickles and miso.
One chapter of the book is devoted to ferments including chickpea miso and honey vinegar.
In March, Gregory visited Canberra for GoodFood Month and was interviewed by our Food & Wine editor, Karen Hardy, who discovered that the chef's go to dinner is mapo tofu (a spicy Chinese dish) and her fridge essentials are butter, 36 fermented condiments and anchovies.
This kitchen gardener was more at home with the crop of potatoes, hasselback Jerusalem artichokes, salt-baked beetroot and mulberry clafoutis. Karen suggested I share the recipe for possum sausages. Following the letter to the editor of The Canberra Times from Peter Fuller (July 14), the red cabbage schnitzel seems a wiser choice.
Kitchen Garden has been given a copy of Gregory's book How Wild Things Are (Hardie Grant Books, $45) as a giveaway prize. To win, tell me what is your favourite edible wild thing and where it comes from. Email with your name and address to bodenparsons@bigpond,com
Red cabbage schnitzel with anchovy and bitter leaves
1/2 a red cabbage
4 anchovy fillets
150ml brown chicken stock
2 garlic cloves
4 thyme sprigs
100g plain flour
250g panko crumbs
oil, for deep frying
1 bunch young radicchio or similar bitter leaf
15g Dijon mustard
25g anchovy fillets
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice, plus extra for seasoning
1 tbsp apple-cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
230ml grapeseed oil
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Clean off the outside leaves and then season the cabbage with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan with a lid, let the butter melt over low heat. Add the cabbage, cut side down, and let it cook for a few minutes, then add the anchovies, chicken stock, garlic and thyme. Cover and bring to the boil, then roast in the oven until fully cooked, about 40 minutes. Drain the cabbage, reserving the cooking juices and chill overnight in the fridge, being careful to keep its original form as much as possible. Reduce the cooking juices by two-thirds and reserve for dressing.
2. The next day, cut the cabbage into four wedges. Gently whisk the egg and milk together to form an egg wash. Dredge the cabbage segments through the flour, keeping them whole, then the egg wash, then the panko crumbs. Arrange on a tray lines with baking paper and chill until needed.
3. For the anchovy mayonnaise, combine the eggs, mustard, anchovies, oyster sauce, lemon juice, apple-cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce in a blender and whiz until smooth. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the oil a little at a time, making sure each addition is completely blended before adding any more. The sauce will thicken and lighten as you add the oil. At the end, it should be thick, shiny and fully emulsified.
4. Preheat a deep fryer or pot full of oil to 170C. Deep fry the cabbage until golden on the outside and hot in the centre. Drain each wedge, then season with salt and some lemon juice. Carefully cut each wedge in two.
5. Arrange the cut wedges on plates with a pool of anchovy mayonnaise and the bitter leaves. Warm up and soon over the cooking juices from the day before.