Wild treats in May’s kitchen!
Wild garlic – a little doesn’t go a long way!
Our crop of wild garlic is doing really well this year. Its growing in a shady, damp part of the garden and looks lovely at this time of the year and of course I know when its ready because the smell of garlic comes wafting through the air!
Yesterday I went and got the scissors and snipped off a bunch of stems to cook up in the kitchen! Although the bulbs are edible if you pull them out then of course youre losing future crops and if you find a clump in the wild then its vital not to remove them. Its a good idea not to pick too many leaves from one area as it does weaken the bulbs for next year.
The pretty white flowers are edible but after flowering the leaves can be a bit tough and bitter so its best to catch them before flowering.
If you nibble the leaves raw they can be quite strong but when blanched or wilted have a delicate garlic flavour.
Try wilting leaves in a large pan with a dash of water for a couple of minutes then serve alongside some new potatoes and asparagus on a roast chicken dinner
The chopped leaves are also good added into scrambled eggs or a frittata and are a great addition to some bubble and squeak.
Remember though thats its a bit like cooking with spinach a little doesnt go a long way and you need quite a lot for a small serving as once wilted they shrink down quite a lot.
Wild garlic pesto
Approx 150g or a large bunch of wild garlic
Approx 75g or a small bunch of parsley or chives
75g finely grated parmesan
75g toasted chopped hazlenuts or toasted pine nuts
Salt and pepper
Approx 100ml olive oil (I use half each of extra virgin and olive oil)
- Roll all the wild garlic into a sausage and slice finely and roughly chop the parsley. Put into a large bowl and blitz with a stick blender or usea food processor.
- Add in about three quarters of the cheese and all the nuts along with a good grinding of salt and pepper.
- Blitz until combined
- Pour in most of the olive oil and mix again. Add more as required.
- Add the rest of the cheese and stir in with a spoon
Pop into jam jars and keep in the fridge till needed it should last a good couple of weeks
Use the pesto to stir into pasta or risottos or just to use as a dip. Its also yummy added into some fried mushrooms at the end of cooking.
Wild garlic also makes an excellent butter just finely chop about 50g of leaves into a pack of softened butter then roll and wrap with cling film and firm up in the fridge. This is a great to use for garlic bread or as a topping for a jacket potato or a nice piece of steak.