What a pleasure it has been to watch the emerging of the Hawthorn leaves this month. The trees I am observing for the Tree of the Year project were a little behind their more sheltered relatives but now they too have begun to burst into life.
Over the past couple of weeks they have been slowly opening out of their protective buds and are now adorning the escarpment and hedgerows with the fresh green vibrancy of spring.
At this time they are just perfect for adding to spring salads as they are still very tender and delicious, as spring wears on the leaves become too tough to be enjoyable. In olden days they were referred to as ‘bread and cheese’ because they were such a staple of country diets and were often added to a cheese sandwich!
In this salad I combined them with finely sliced wild garlic-mustard, sorrel leaves, dandelion leaves and handful of chickweed. Adding chopped almonds and seeds with a dressing of cleavers infused vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil made this a lovely side dish.