Born to be WildPublished on 11 April, 2017, 01:09 pm
With spring in full bloom, our woodlands and river banks provide a bounty of in season, wild produce to grace the pantry of chefs.
It's no surprise we picked Allium Ursinum or as you know it Wild Garlic, as one of our featured, foraged ingredients for our latest menu.
- In season
- plentiful resources
- local (Hardwick Hall & the Ilam Park & Dovedale offer some picturesque foraging grounds)
- delicate falvours
These are just some of the benefits of this beautiful wild plant with gorgeous white flowers (also edible) that grace our woodlands and tables aplenty during springtime.
As the name indicates, wild garlic has a distinct smell and taste of garlic, but much more subtle and delicate, not as pungent as its relatives such as garlic and chives.
The leaves are blanched, wilted or blitzed to make oils, salsas, mayo, frittata, pasta sauces, side orders.
You name it, wild garlic is so adaptable as an ingredient.
If you forage it yourself and are not a regular forager, it is pivotal to know that Wild garlic is very similar to Lily of The Valley, which is poisonous. The difference is that wild garlic always smells. Grab a leaf and rub it to smell the distinct scent. If unsure, never pick it and especcially don't ingest it. Get someone in the know to check for you.
But if you do get to pick it in your local park, why not make a classic with a twist!
Wild Garlic Pesto
perfect as a pasta, gnocchi accompaniment or as a dip on crusty chargrilled loaves.
Salt & pepper to season
Wash around 10-12 leaves of wild garlic. Add to a blender with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, on tablespoon roasted pine nuts, 1 table spoon of parmesan. Blitz all ingredients together to reach a smooth consistency.
Add a splash of oil if required, season to taste and serve.
You can add more leaves and pine nuts and parmesan according to your taste.
Serve on char-grilled crusty bread as a dip or bruschetta topping.
Or why not cook some gnocchi and toss them with the pesto.
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