I drafted this post about a year ago - well I uploaded photos, but for one reason or another that was as far as I got and it sat there unfinished. Then the wild garlic season passed and it no longer seemed relevant, so I forgot all about it. But as the wild garlic season is once again upon us and as it is a while since I wrote about anything food related, I decided to find this abandonded draft.
I was given this bunch of wild garlic by Helen when I took a bread making class with her last year. We used wild garlic pesto in some of the fabulous Italian breads that we made and I was bemoaning the fact that we didn't seem to have any grow near us. Although Helen was not willing to divulge her secret location for her harvest she did give me a huge bunch to take home.
Back home I made it up into a large quantity of pesto - some was used to make savoury pastry appetisers, some was stirred through pasta and the rest was put into the freezer. Easy to make and so delicious. If only I could find an abundant local source, although I'm reliably informed that Waitrose will deliver which rather seems to defeat the purpose of foraging.
Easy Wild Garlic Pesto
In a food processor whizz up 100g leaves (I added some rocket to my wild garlic), 50g pine nuts, 2 garlic cloves, zest of a lemon and 200g olive oil. Stir in 50g Parmigiano Reggiano and season with salt and pepper.
The beauty of a recipe like this is that you can substitute different leaves, oil, nuts and cheese depending on what you have to hand and get fabulous but different results each time. And so much nicer than anything you can buy
Another quick but tasty snack of which we we are rather fond are Rosemary Spiced nuts. We first tasted them with pre-dinner drinks at the Cambridge Cookery School Cafe and they were so good I researched several recipes and had numerous trial runs until I came up with something similar... sweet, salty and very addictive.
Rosemary Spiced Nuts.
Mix together 1.5 Tablespoons oil or melted butter, 1 Tablespoon nigella seeds, 1 Tablespoon of honey or brown sugar, half a teaspoon of sea salt, half a teaspoon black pepper, half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary. To this mixture add 230g of nuts (I like a mix of cashews and almonds) and stir well. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast in a pre-heated oven 170 deg C (150 fan) 325 deg F for 17-20 minutes, giving them the occasional stir. Leave to cool, stirring now and then to break them up, and store in an air tight jar... although to be honest ours never get to the storage stage.
Perfect with a gin and tonic!
And while I'm talking recipes, five or six years ago I posted a recipe for bread pudding (probably the last time I made it) and I think it must be my most viewed blog post ever. New comments are always popping up as someone else discovers it. Obviously the tag 'bread pudding' must get put into search engines on a regular basis... or something like that, not that I claim to understand!