We love our seasons at THK. Our menus change from day to day evolving around what’s on offer from our wonderful suppliers, growers and even our local woodlands. Foraging has been for a while now “the thing to do” and there is nothing better to start with than Wild Garlic… AKA Ramsons.
The season runs from early March until mid to late April, which should give you enough time to get out there and grab some. The best places to look for it are in woodlands and often near bluebells. Give the leaves a rub and you should smell the strong garlicky scent. You will know when the season is coming to an end when the flowers are in full bloom which means it is getting ready to seed for the next season. The flowers are edible and can be great for finishing a dish off as they look really pretty. They are quite intense in flavour however so use sparingly!
We have already picked our first crop for this season and often with the first pickings we tend to produce a good batch of Wild Garlic Pesto. We know that making a pesto is not particularly original but wow is it tasty and versatile, plus it’s great to have knocking around in the fridge if you need a quick fix for dinner. Simply drizzle over pasta as you would any pesto.
Here’s our recipe:
- 1 large bunch of wild garlic, washed, dried & roughly chopped
- 1 small bunch of curly parsley, washed, dried & roughly chopped
- 40gms pine nuts, toasted
- 40g blanched almonds, toasted
- 70gms parmesan cheese
- 170mls olive oil (a blend of half extra virgin, half normal)
- squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
- salt and pepper
Other than the olive oil, Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz for a minute then slowly pour in the olive oil until blended. Season to taste.
Store in a jar, if using gradually, each time you take some from the jar add a thin layer of olive oil on top to preserve the pesto for longer. Store in the fridge.
We also like to knock up a batch of Wild Garlic Crumb. Inspired by a recipe from April Bloomfield’s “A Girl And Her Pig” where April makes a parsley crumb to go with a Cassoulet, we make our own wild garlic version that adds a wonderful punch along with a stunning vibrant colour to any slow braised meat.
See our recipe here:
- 1 big handful of washed wild garlic leaves (make sure they are dry)
- 1 big handful of roughly chopped parsley
- 150g breadcrumbs
- 20g melted butter (cooled)
- Salt & pepper
Pulse the parsley and wild garlic in a food processer until finely chopped, add the breadcrumbs and seasoning and blitz until fine and vibrant green. Finally add the cooled melted butter and blitz again. Store in an airtight container.