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Wild garlic leaves

Five ways with wild garlic

by Great British Chefs 09 April 2015

Wild garlic is bursting into season, bringing thoughts of spring dishes with it. Take a look at 5 quick and easy recipes to sample this foraging favourite from some of the UK's finest chefs

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Every spring, a nation of chefs and foodies sing the praises of wild garlic. Easily foraged, wild garlic is one of the most glorious bounties that the season has to offer, with its fragrant flavour offering a boost to all manner of dishes. Read on for 5 simple ways to incorporate this seasonal classic into your dishes, from a hearty pesto to wild garlic crumb.

Often growing in shady woodland huddled amongst bluebells, wild garlic is a forager's delight. For more information on sourcing, cooking and serving wild garlic, visit our How to cook wild garlic page.

Peter Gordon's Wild garlic pesto

Peter Gordon is well known for adapting classic dishes with exciting ingredients in pursuit of deliciousness, so this wild garlic pesto recipe comes as no surprise from the chef. Switching pine nuts for hazelnuts, and adding a healthy dose of blanched wild garlic to the mix, the chef creates a quick and easy pesto for a number of spring dishes.

Recipe: Blanch 80g of wild garlic leaves in salted boiling water, then drain and plunge into a bowl of iced water, stirring gently. Drain, squeezing out any excess water, and add to a food processor with 100g of blanched, lightly toasted hazelnuts. Blitz until the mix resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add 80g of basil leaves, 120g of grated Parmesan and 100ml of cold pressed rapeseed oil and blitz until fairly smooth. Add salt to taste, then add approximately 60-80ml of extra virgin olive oil, depending on your desired consistency.

James Mackenzie's Wild garlic crust

James Mackenzie's wild garlic crust is an ingenious and simple way to inject some spring into your meals, and can be used to add a wonderfully aromatic wild garlic tang to a variety of dishes. This recipe is from his Wild rabbit, langoustine and Jerusalem artichoke crumble, a dish fit for any dinner party feast.

Recipe: Add 100g of white breadcrumbs, a handful of parsley leaves and 6 finely shredded wild garlic leaves to a food processor. Blitz until evenly green, add to a bowl and stir through 50g of melted butter and 50g of finely grated Parmesan to resemble a crumble. Use the crumb to sprinkle over gratins or bakes, then pop under the grill to finish.

Christoffer Hruskova's Wild garlic oil

Christoffer Hruskova is well known for his love of foraged ingredients, and wild garlic makes a star turn in a number of his dishes. The chef recommends using this wild garlic oil to attractively split stocks and sauces for lamb and pork, or for buttermilk or cream, much like the way he uses parsley oil in his Grey mullet recipe.

Recipe: Blanch 250g of wild garlic, then drain and transfer to a bowl of iced water. Once cool, squeeze out any excess water and add to a food processor. Gently warm 250g of rapeseed oil, then add to the wild garlic and blitz until smooth. Pass the oil through a muslin-lined sieve to finish.

 

David Everitt-Matthias's Salted wild garlic buds

Though the leaves are the most commonly eaten part of the wild garlic plant, the roots and buds are also full of flavour, and offer their own attributes to a dish. David Everitt-Matthias preserves wild garlic buds in brine in his Lamb recipe, as well as using the roots and leaves. Much like capers, brined wild garlic buds offer a potent punch of flavour to dishes, so make the most of the glut and get preserving!

Recipe: Remove any stalk from 125g of wild garlic buds and rinse thoroughly. Add 20g of salt and 100g of water of a pan, bring to the boil then allow to cool. Add the buds to a sterilised jar and pour over the brine. Seal the jar and store in in a cool, dark place for 2-3 weeks. If not using straight away, drain the buds, add to another sterilised jar and submerge in olive oil, keeping in the fridge until required.

The Galvin brothers' Wild garlic soup

A wild garlic recipe that can be whipped up in no time, this comforting soup recipe the Galvin brothers will persuade any level of chef to give wild garlic a spin. Intensely flavoured, rich and buttery, this is a soup for chilly spring nights, perfect for mopping up with some crusty bread.

Recipe: Sweat 1 finely diced large onion and 2 sliced garlic cloves in 100g of butter and a dash of olive oil for 5 minutes. Add 150g of finely diced potatoes and 1 litre of hot chicken stock, season and bring to the boil. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked, then add 800g of wild garlic, bring to the boil and transfer to a blender. Blitz until smooth, pass through a sieve and cool over a bowl of iced water. Check the seasoning and gently reheat to serve.

 
 

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