If you go down to the woods...

Wild Garlic

If you go down to the woods... ...it's likely that you'll find some wild garlic. Or, if you've a good friend who house-sits where there's a woodland garden, you may be lucky enough to be brought some, like I was.

The leaves are what we're after here; they look very much like lily-of-the-valley but are no relation being part of the allium family. Wild garlic, or ramsons as they are also known, are milder in taste than bulb varieties of garlic and can be used simply in a salad or as a vegetable. Had I have done that though, it would have made for a very short posting here!

Here's some other uses that sprang into my tiny brain; not recipes as such, more general ideas with instructions:

Wild Garlic, Chicken and Noodle Soup

Wild Garlic, Chicken and Noodle Soup

A great way to use up a bit of leftover chicken.

Take a pint and a half of home-made chicken stock and bring it to the boil, add a handful of noodles and leave it until the noodles are nearly soft. Add sliced wild garlic leaves and shredded cooked chicken. Thicken slightly with half a teaspoon of potato flour mixed in a little water and then season it with salt, ground white pepper and, if you fancy it, a splash of light soy sauce.

Wild Garlic Pakora

Wild Garlic Pakora

Great for buffets or in a mixed Indian platter for a starter.

Chop some cooked potato very finely and add very finely sliced (chiffonade) wild garlic leaves, finely chopped chilli, small amounts of ground cumin, coriander, turmeric and garam masala. Add fresh coriander too if you have it to hand, then mix all the ingredients together. I used new potatoes and it needed a little gram flour adding with a drop of water to get it all to bind together; I don't think that you'd need this with old potato. Form the mix into small balls or patties.

In a separate bowl mix around 4 heaped tablespoons of gram flour with 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander, a little turmeric, chilli powder and garam masala. Mix to a thick batter with water. Coat the garlic and potato balls with the batter and deep fry at 170°C until nicely browned. Drain on kitchen paper before serving.

Wild Garlic Tortilla or Fritata
- OK, so it's an Omelette!

Wild Garlic

Mix chopped potato and chopped wild garlic with a few beaten eggs and season. Cook in oil in a frying pan until nearly set, then top with cheese and finish under a hot grill. Serve it hot or cold, but the garlic flavour comes through best when it's cold. Oh, by cold I mean at room temperature - so take it out of the fridge a little while before serving it.

Needless to say, the more I use this, the more ideas spring to mind...
...Savoury wild garlic and cheese scones or muffins, wild garlic pesto, wild garlic souffle, steak with wild garlic 'bearnaise' sauce - Mmm yes, finely sliced wild garlic in a hollandaise sauce, used in a classic Eggs Benedict or Florentine.

Doh, now I've gone and made myself hungry... ...Waiter!


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