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Friday, 2 April 2010

Its back!

My favourite ingredient is back in the fields.

Wild Garlic or Ramson (left) is back again for a limited period only.

It grows near water and is very prolific. Right about now, it will be growing in abundance on the banks of streams throughout southern England.

You use the leaves and the taste is much stronger than bulb garlic.

Use it as you would normal garlic, or if you like make a soup or pesto out of it.

To make the soup use a recipe for any green soup, ie, onions potatoes, stock etc and a good handful of the leaves. Sweat everything in a pan with butter, then add the stock and simmer until cooked. Blitz and season.

For Pesto, take a good bunch of the leaves and wash them well. Next, blanch them in boiling water just to take the edge off. Of course, if you don't mind the really wild taste, use them as they are. Mind, I warn you the raw leaves are ferocious.

Whizz the leaves in some extra virgin olive oil with walnuts and extra mature cheddar. Season it and serve with pasta. And just to give it a nice little 'zing' chuck in a few chopped tomatoes and you have a lunch to die for!