We got hold of some wild garlic (ramps) this week. These leaves are very seasonal. Growing in profusion in woodland and owing to their distinctive scent, relatively easy to forage. We found some in a central Cambridge location but it wasn’t a place we could harvest it from, so resorted to a local fresh food specialist, Fisher and Woods in Saffron Walden where we got a big bunch of freshly gathered leaves to play with.
Wild garlic is a leaf with strong flavour but can be worked into salads such as here with carrots, tomatoes and a balsamic vinegar – olive oil dressing. The intensity of the garlicky leaves tempered well by sweet carrot and a sweetly acidic dressing.
It is a popular spring addition to risotto, as here
These wild garlic and quinoa cakes by Yotam Ottolenghi are definitely one we want to try
Wild garlic pesto is a great way to eke out this very seasonal ingredient. Stored in a sterlized jar and covered with olive oil it will last well a few weeks. We added a little truffle oil to our pesto. This combination of truffle and wild garlic, a sophisticated take on garlic mushrooms, is addictive and versatile. You will want to use this on more than just pasta.
Try it smeared on bread for an upgraded cheese toastie. Brunch could not be finer. Though it might be best to get your companions to enjoy it too if you must consume garlic first thing in the day.
Keeping with the cheese theme, drizzle it over hot pizza. I scatter dried chilli flakes over too. Even a basic Margherita pizza is elevated to greatness with this quick and easy fixing. For extra points, use a goat cheese pizza.
Other suggestions –
- Mix it into hollandaise to top poached eggs and some asparagus spears.
- Stir a teaspoon of it into a bowl of soup – asparagus, leek and potato would work well.
- Spoon it over roast chicken and other roast meats
- Top a jacket potato with some gruyere and wild garlic pesto.
- 100g (3.5 oz) Walnuts
- 50g (1.7 oz) Wild Garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil - plus more for storing the pesto
- 75g (2.6 oz) finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon truffle oil
- Put the walnuts and wild garlic in a food processor and pulse till a rough paste is formed
- Add the olive oil and pulse a little more till a smoothish paste is formed
- Fold in the parmesan and truffle oil
- Add a little freshly grated pepper