These spring months are perfect for a spot of foraging, if you live near the right location. Of course, you can buy nearly anything in the supermarket these days, but it’s undeniably more satisfying to cook with something that you’ve actually found nestled in a hedgerow! But it’s not just in the countryside where you can go a-foraging.
Cities also provide rich pickings – we love Alys Fowler’s book, ‘The Thrifty Forager – Living off your local landscape’, a fantastic reference for both city or country dwellers. The Woodland Trust website also has useful foraging information.
If you’re heading out on a foraging expedition, please remember to only do so in an area where it’s safe and legal – and make sure you use a reference book and are confident with what you are picking. And always thoroughly wash everything before using in recipes!
Wild garlic has been particularly abundant in the area recently and we decided to see what we could make with it in the test kitchen.
If you have any ideas of your own, then please do share – we’d love to hear them!
WILD GARLIC BUTTER
Finely chop a handful of wild garlic leaves and stir them into soft butter, adding a pinch of cracked black pepper and paprika.
A great use for this would be to spread generously over gluten free pitta breads, then pop under a hot grill for DIY garlic bread.
WILD GARLIC HUMMUS
Whiz together a tin of chickpeas (rinsed and drained), 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, a handful of chopped wild garlic, and seasoning. Perfect with crudités or crackers.
WILD GARLIC PESTO
We featured this delicious Wild Garlic Pesto served with pasta on Em’s Blog previously, but it’s so easy. Simply blitz together until smooth wild garlic leaves with olive oil, parmesan, lightly toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Make sure to store in the fridge and use within a few days.
GARLIC PESTO AND SUNDRIED TOMATO MUFFINS
Use your Wild Garlic Pesto to make these tasty tea time muffins…
50g brown rice flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
A pinch of pepper
3 free range eggs
2 tablespoons milk
100g sundried tomatoes, chopped
Simply add the above dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, add the free range eggs and mix well with a wooden spoon or electric hand mixer. Melt the butter, poor into the mix and whisk (electric or hand) until a smooth batter is formed. Add the 2 tablespoons of milk and whisk again. Then add generously heaped tablespoons of wild garlic pesto and the chopped sundried tomatoes to the batter. Split the mix between muffin cases and bake for 15 – 18 mins at 170oC, until golden and cooked through.
GARLIC AND VEGETABLE QUICHE
Add an extra flavour element to a home made quiche by spreading garlic pesto over the base before adding the rest of the filling – roasted vegetables go well. Alternatively, you could add finely chopped wild garlic leaves as part of the filling.