An extra April treat in the kitchen with Wild Garlic
A lot of us are going for longer walks than normal and finding great delight in the emerging flora and fauna growing around us. Some of it of course is edible and although I’m a bit wary of picking mushrooms I often seek out the pungent smell of wild garlic as it can be a great addition in the kitchen. Some friends found a clump growing in a nearby woodland and were asking for ideas so here’s one of our favourites along with a few quick ideas.
Of course it’s important to forage sustainable so if you’re lucky enough to find a clump make sure you preserve its future by only picking the leaves and flowers and leaving the bulb in the ground.
The flowers have quite a strong taste so use sparingly. They can be added to salads or soups at the end of cooking for a quick garlic hit.
The leaves are the most versatile part though. They are their most tender before flowering but can still be enjoyed now. Like the flowers they can be added to soups, simply stir them through at the end of cooking.
- You could add them to some spinach and let them wilt down together then serve as a side dish or add to a pasta sauce.
- If you’re making a batch of cheese scones chop some leaves to add to the mix
- Make an oil for flavouring salad dressings or for drizzling over pasta – simply blanch the leaves for about 30 seconds then blitz in a liquidiser with some oil. Pass through a fine sieve and keep, ready to use as required.
- It’s great for making your own garlic butter – chop finely then stir into softened butter. Wrap in a clingfilm log and cut slices off when needed – use to make garlic bread or as a finish to some grilled fish. Handy to keep ready sliced in the freezer.
Our treat for lunch yesterday was this really simple dish made with a bunch of leaves that we have growing in a clump in a shady part of our garden:
Wild garlic mushrooms on toast
Serves 2 takes about 10 minutes
50g butter and good glug of oil
Small onion or a couple of shallots, finely chopped
300g mushrooms of your choice, sliced or halved depending on the size
20ish wild garlic leaves
50ml double cream
Tablespoon of chopped chives (I used garlic chives!)
Squeeze of lemon juice
Grating of parmesan cheese (optional)
2 thick slices of bread of your choice
- Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the onion until softened.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes depending on how soft you like them.
- Pop your bread on to toast on both sides and keep warm. You can butter it if you want to or drizzle over some wild garlic oil!
- Pour the cream into the mushrooms and leave to bubble for a couple of minutes.
- Add the wild garlic leaves. You can chop them if you want to but I generally leave them whole. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until they have wilted and add the chives and S&P to taste.
- If you aren’t using cream then simply add the leaves to the mushrooms and they will wilt down in the mushroom’s buttery juices
- Squeeze over some lemon juice to taste then spoon over the toast and scatter over some parmesan if you fancy it.
Enjoy straight away!
There’s also a recipe for Wild Garlic Pesto in our archives from back in May 2016