Leafu Leafcurd is a highly nutritious fresh or dried food ingredient. It is pure leaf. Nothing is added. In a simple low tech process, leaf juice is strained and heated producing a rich dark green solid curd. Full of viamins, minerals and protein, it is used as an ingredient of soups, sauces, sausages, casseroles or wherever the concentrated goodness and flavour of green leaves is desired.
In its dried form the product is a coarse green powder and is even more concentrated than the fresh curd. It may be used as an ingredient in a similar way to the fresh leafcurd, or it may simply be sprinkled on food as a nutritional supplement. Resealed and kept in a cool dry place it should keep for at least 12 months.
The taste of leafcurd may best be described as 'greens', but varies considerably depending on the species of plant used. Here at Coombe Farm we use nettles (Urtica diocia) predominantly. Nettles are perennial so cultivations are unnecessary once established. They respond well to heavy mulches which provide fertility, moisture conservation and weed control and they produce a reasonable quantity of a dense curd.
Other plants used include 'weeds' such as fat Hen (Chenopodium albium) and cleavers (Galium aparine), and agricultural crops in their leafy stage such as field bean, cereals and mustard. Many vegetable by products such as suede tops, carrot tops and Jerusalem artichoke tops may also be used. These crops, and there are many more of them, are all suited to the generally mild moist conditions of South West England. In other places other crops should be used. It is important to choose crops that are easily grown or freely available. They should be clean fresh and juicy.