So, its THAT time of year again.
One of these days I will get round to harvesting Wild Garlic commercially, because a, I know where to find a BIG stock of it and b, all the top chefs love using it when it is in season.
|My First Crop of 2015|
Within an hour of picking it, it was washed, blanched and popped into a jar with some chilli flakes, black pepper and Extra Virgin Olive Oil and then stored away at the back of the larder. I shall be back to it in about a month's time when I am sure it will taste glorious.
And talking about Garlic, I've been making garlic bread. Oh, and Soda Bread and Pitta Bread and Wholemeal Loaf.
You see, I went on this bread making course a month or so ago at our local community centre. I spent a glorious Saturday with a load of other locals because taught how to make the food of life by a local expert. Then, a few days later, a local Jewish couple (I live near Stamford Hill, home to Europe's largest Orthodox Jewish community) announced they were moving and needed to give away a load of bread flour.
Now, when I say a load, I mean a LOAD. We are talking 30 Kilos here! Apparently, they used to do a lot of baking, but then the novelty wore off. It took me two runs on my bike to pick it all up. On getting it home, I gave some to the housemates, who include a local primary school teacher. My other 'housie' works in a children's hospital and is a great baker or bread, so she was very glad of it.
But even after all my give aways I am still left with LOADS of bread flour. I've baked a few loaves with it, but in the last week or two have been focussing on pizza bases,
|My Go To Cookbook|
Now, when I want to know something, I go to my Leith's Vegetarian Bible. I rather suspect this is the ultimate vegetarian cookbook. I was given it as a leaving present from the staff at the first school I taught in. To say that it was a very welcome present is something of an understatement. Next to Rosamund Richardson's books' this is the one I use most of all.
As you can see below, it gives a very reliable recipe for a pizza base that I have used many times. It's quick, simple and produces a lovely pizza dough.
|A simple and straightforward Pizza base.|
Tonight, I used it to make a garlic bread. But of course, I had already used up my wild garlic, so I had to use the real stuff for this. Only I didn't. What you see below is what is left of the garlic and parsley bread I made this evening to go with my pasta and tomato pesto main course.
The garlic I used for this bread was frozen. I saw this stuff in the local supermarket a week or two ago and thought I would give it a go. I so wish I hadn't. My first thought was to roast the frozen cloves in order to draw the flavour out of them.
All I was left with was a hot, tasteless mush! So, I took another couple of cloves out of the freezer, microwaved them for a few seconds to thaw them out and then chopped them up with some parsley and olive oil. Well the result as you can see below, is a nice looking bread - that was totally tasteless.
So, lesson learned is this. NEVER, EVER, use frozen garlic cloves again! They will be in the bin before the night is out and I will be buying the real stuff (or using the wild stuff) from now onwards. So, just in case you are ever templted to use frozen garlic, below is a picture of the stuff I bought, so you can avoid it in the future.