Going wild ….. for garlic!.
We are surrounded by wild garlic at this time of year – and whilst the pretty little flowers are aren’t out yet, the broad soft green leaves are. And they are perfect to add to recipes for their gentle flavour & vibrant colour.
If you aren’t lucky enough to find any, rocket leaves are a good alternative with their own peppery zing.
So whilst I am isolated at this very strange time, I’m very happy to be picking leaves and adding them to my usual lunchtime favourites. Here are a trio of delicious-ness – which you can keep seperate, or as I did yesterday, eat all together! And I really don’t believe I smelt too bad afterwards….. the gentle garlic flavour of the leaves is sweeter and softer than the bolder bulb.
Enjoy these easy recipes and I hope you are able to find the sunshine as well!
WILD GARLIC SODA BREAD
Makes 1 large loaf or 2 smaller loaves
200g of wholegrain flour
275g strong white flour
350ml buttermilk (or normal milk with a squeeze of lemon *)
1 generous teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 large free-range egg
1 tsp honey
1 handful of wild garlic leaves, roughly chopped
A good pinch of salt
*Preheat the oven to 190°C.
*Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, wild garlic and salt in a mixer.
*Measure out the buttermilk and then whisk in the egg and honey. (If you are making your own use the ratio of one tbsp of lemon juice to 250ml milk and leave to sit out at room temperature for about ten minutes. For this recipe you need 350ml so add a ‘little bit more’ lemon!).
*Pour in the wet mixture into the dry mix and form a dough. *Tip out onto a floured work surface and use as more flour to make the dough less sticky until you can roughly kneed. Form into one large round or two smaller round.
*Place onto a floured baking tray and score the top with sharp knife – I like to cut a cross.
*Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Crust should look golden and the cut cross will have slightly split – tap the bottom of the loaf for a hollow sound.
*Allow to cool before slicing and enjoying with a lots of butter.
Will keep in bread in for a couple of day or longer in the fridge. Can also be frozen for up to 3 months – defrost overnight before using (don’t put it in the microwave).
WILD GARLIC PESTO
Makes 1 large jar
1 large handful of washed wild garlic leaves
1 small bunch of herbs – parsley/coriander/basil
60g of pine nuts, ideally toasted
60g of Parmesan, grated
150ml of olive oil,
Juice of half a small lemon
Salt & black pepper
*Put garlic & herbs into magi-mix and briefly whizz to finely chop
*Add pinenuts, grated parmesan, salt & pepper and whizz again.
*Pour in half the olive oil, whizz and check consistency. Add lemon juice and more oil until you are happy with the texture.
*Check seasoning and store in a jam jar or kilner jar.
Will keep in the fridge for ages or can be frozen, in ice cubes for up to 1 month. If keeping in the fridge, keep adding a little bit of olive oil every time you take some, to keep it looking bright and green.
WILD GARLIC HUMOUS
1 x 400 g tin of chickpeas, drained
1 tablespoon tahini
Large handful of wash, wild garlic leaves – thinly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & Pepper
Dash of white balsamic vinegar*
*Put the chickpeas, tahini and wild garlic into the food processor and whizz until roughly smooth!
*Add lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of oil and whizz again
*Season with salt & pepper and a dash of white balsamic vinegar* and blitz again. Check taste, texture and add more olive oil if liked and keep blitzing until you are happy!
*If you need to loosen the mixture you can use some of the chickpea water (also known as aqua fab)
Keep covered in fridge for up to 4 days – sadly I haven’t found it freezes very well so best to just enjoy eating it fresh!
I use White Balsamic Vinegar in lots of my dressings & dips – it’s a clear balsamic vinegar and milder & sweeter than it’s darker cousin and provides a lovely sharp/sweet flavour without the colour. I can highly recommend www.finooliveoil.co.uk for their wonderful Oils & Vinegars.
For more ideas and recipes – come and join me at my regular cooking demos. Informal groups of up to 8 people, around my kitchen table, tasting and chatting. A 2 course lunch/supper is included along with welcome coffee & homemade cakes, recipes to take home and lots of inspiration!
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