It is the season to be jolly; one of my best friends has come out to play from the Allium family. May I introduce Mr Allium Ursinum; wild garlic, fat leafed garlic, bears leafed garlic along with many other aliases. He is here for around eight weeks, depending on where he is visits, from early April to early June.
His location is always a well kept secret and rightly so. You will smell him and his comrades well before you see them.
If I was to search for him, I would put on my wellies and hit the country side and be looking in shaded woodland which in autumn would be quite barren of all things green and leaf ridden from fallen foliage.
If you are lucky enough to come across a meadow of this lovely green stuff, only take what you need and cut the leaves from above the root, don’t pull them out as this will reduce next years crop.
A carrier bag will do you for a vat of pesto and other tasty recipes. It also freezes well in an air tight bag. A bag of the green stuff does hold a street value; I would recommend keeping this crop to yourself so you don’t have to cough up cash to the over priced street sellers.
Tip – as the saying goes ‘don’t eat yellow snow’. Make sure you wash and clean any of your harvest and avoid picking any within 20 meters of a road. Car fumes and dog wee are really not a new trend, even if you do live in Shoreditch!
I have a few wild garlic recipes and ideas to post in the next few weeks, let’s start with wild garlic pesto (with watercress)
Wild garlic and watercress pesto
It is worth making a lot of this and then putting into ice cube trays, cover well and freeze. Just pop out what you need and use it frozen or let it come to room temperature.
Using only wild garlic will make this a bit too strong, mainly on the after taste as wild garlic does come and bite you hard after a few spoonfuls. I like to mix mine with watercress to keep a natural peppery hit and the parsley helps to calm the garlic down.
I would only use green herbs in this pesto, feel free to mix and match.
1) Use these measurements roughly depending on how much you have. Half a big bunch of wild garlic, quarter of a bunch of parsley and watercress, put into a blender or food processor.
2) Add half the oil, most of the parmesan and then blitz till you get a thick paste.
3) Add the a handful of pine nuts (you may not need them all) rest of the parmesan, a little lemon juice and blitz again. If it looks too thick then add more oil bit by bit. Only add salt if you need to as the cheese will be salty.
Tags: pesto, recipes, seasonal, wild garlic
Ingredients €0.00 (1 Servings)