Tag Archives: pesto

A week of wild garlic…

Every year, around this time, I see so many posts on blogs and Instagram of people sharing their wild garlic creations. And each year I’m so envious!!! I’ve tried wild garlic once, having paid a fortune for it at a local ‘posh’ greengrocers, and I know it’s lovely, but I’ve never found any locally to be able to forage for myself…until this week!

I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for weeks around where I walk Bob every morning; I know that wild garlic tends to grow in wooded areas, and where we walk isn’t wooded at all. Except for one small area, and this week, there it was! I finally found my own local supply of wild garlic…

In this small wooded area, running along a path we walk up and down regularly, is an area of bountiful, gorgeous wild garlic.

Oh the joy! I cannot tell you how excited I was!!! And by the look of it, no one knows it’s there, or maybe just doesn’t know what it is, which is even better 🙂

I immediately sent the photo above to Kellie, who is a wild garlic guru, to double check my find, but I was pretty sure I was right. I collected some there and then, using one of the nappy sacks I can for cleaning up after Bob, and returned the next couple of days with bigger bags and some gloves and foraged to my hearts content.

So, there’s been lots of careful washing and drying of leaves and stalks and flowers in my kitchen all week, the smell has been amazing, it’s got such a lovely smell, not as strong as bulb garlic, but you can tell what it is; and there’s been lots of concoctions, which I am sharing below. It honestly feels like such a gift from nature, and has made me smile all week; the pure simplicity of collecting, cooking and eating gorgeous fresh food direct form the earth is wonderful – I totally get those of your who grow your own food!

The leaves, stalks and flowers are all edible, and all have different strengths; the stalks have a stronger flavour than the leaves, and the flowers are stronger again, but none as strong as bulb garlic. You can eat them all raw or cooked. You can sauté the leaves like spinach, you chop it and add it to salad, the possibilities are endless. So here’s a few rough ideas to tempt you, apologies for the lack of quantities, I’ve just provided lists of ingredients and suggestions…

Chargrilled red pepper & WG harissa

Long red peppers, chargrilled, peeled and deseeded

Wild garlic leaves and stalks, washed and dried

Tabil spice mix (toasted cumin, coriander & caraway seeds, ground)

Pul biber flakes

Olive oil

Lemon juice

All in a blender and whizzed tougher.

WG & preserved lemon harissa

Wild garlic leaves and stalks, washed and dried

Spring onions, whites and greens roughly chopped

Half a preserved lemon, roughly chopped

Ground cumin & coriande

Pul biber flakes

Olive oil

Lemon juice

All in a blender and whizzed together, but not for too long, it’s nice rustic.

WG flower homous

Make your standard homous recipe but leave out the garlic, and add some carefully picked wild garlic flowers at the end, stirring them in by hand. Leave it a day before eating it for the flavour to develop.

WG cream cheese

Whizz up WG leaves and stalks, or just the stalks, or just the leaves, with your choice of cream cheese.

WG & pumpkin seed dairy free pesto

WG leaves and stalks chopped up with toasted pumpkin seeds, olive oil and lemon juice. Add your choice of cheese at will 🙂

WG & spring onion salsa verde

Wild garlic leaves and stems, washed and dried

Spring onions, whites and greens, roughly chopped

Homemade apple cider vinegar

Pomegranate molasses

Ground cumin & coriander

Pul biber chilli flakes

Olive oil

Chop all together in a blender to the consistency of your choice.

WG, tahini & yoghurt sauce

Blend WG leaves and stalks with tahini, yoghurt and lemon juice, and use at will like this, or add to other ingredients to create a dip, like below

Spiced carrot & WG, tahini & yoghurt dip

Carrots cooked in olive oil with red onion and garlic and my Moroccan spice mix, whizzed up with some of the tahini and yogurt sauce from above.

And to finish…

This was a mixture of some of the WG cream cheese mixed with the WG pesto, plus some boiled chunks of sweet potato and topped with wild garlic flowers.

I’ve also sautéd leaves with added spinach and quinoa, and eaten a fair amount of raw leaves in the process too!

I hope I didn’t lose you halfway down the page with all of my WG creations?! If you find some, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have 🙂

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Herbs and nuts ‘pesto’…

I had a green day this week; I basically had lots of lovely fresh herbs in my fridge and decided to use some of them in some pastes.

I made a coriander and walnut paste that I’ve made and shared before – I’d forgotten just how tasty it is! And I also threw together a kind of pesto idea at the same time..

This is made of lots of fresh parsley and not as much coriander, several handfuls of almonds and cashews, garlic, olive oil, a little lemon juice and some parmesan. You could easily use nutritional yeast instead of the parmesan to make it vegan if you wish. 

I was careful not to overblend this once I’d added the nuts to retain some crunch. 

It was so good, and, as ever, even better the next day once it had had time to develop the flavours. All you really need is a spoon to eat something like this, but I did force myself to add it to some meals instead. 

Including adding it to bulghur wheat with lots more fresh herbs, dried barberries and grilled aubergine slices one day..

…and similar again but with a pile of grilled courgettes instead the next day…

I did also eat some with some edamame bean spaghetti too, of which I don’t have a photo, and it worked well stirred through the warm ‘pasta’. 

I do love a concoction, especially a successful one!!! 

I hope you’ve had a good week, I’m taking my green concoction to this week’s Fiesta Friday, being looked after this week by the lovely Jhuls and Monika, and for now I’ll leave you with a shot or two of the semolina sourdough loaf I have just baked…

Coriander two ways, new kitchen goodies and Fiesta Friday…

This weekend it is my honour to co host Fiesta Friday, along with Quinn from the blog Dad What’s 4 Dinner. We hope that lots of you will join us and bring your wonderful dishes. 

Before I get onto my dishes of food, let me show you my beautiful new actual dishes; this time last week I was visiting the BBC Good Food Show as a guest of the lovely Gill from Sytch Farm Studios. The show was as busy as ever, full of great food, new products and lovely kitchenware, none more so than the items that Gill makes by hand..

…of which several just had to come home with me…

…along with the board that was made by Gill’s equally talented partner, Jon. They are such a wonderfully creative pair and I love everything they make! This beautiful bowl just makes me smile daily..

…look at that colour!!! I love it 🙂 

Anyway, enough of my Sytchware love affair, let’s talk coriander..

I buy at least two huge bunches of fresh coriander weekly, rarely without a plan, but it always gets used, whether in salads, sauces, curries, dips; this week was the same. 

And then I saw a post on Instagram by a lady that I follow for a Georgian style walnut and coriander paste; it included spices, and garlic, olive oil and pomegranate molasses…what’s not to like???? 

So this is my version, and it was lovely!!! I used a mixture of walnuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds (both of which I’d already roasted), mainly because I didn’t have enough walnuts. You can use all walnuts or mix it up. 

Ingredients

A large bunch of fresh coriander, leaves stripped from stalks (don’t throw the stalks away – details below)

A handful of fresh walnuts

A handful of almonds

A handfuls of toasted pumpkin seeds 

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled 

1-2 tbsp ‘khmeli suneli’ spice mix – I made may own from this recipe 

A couple of good glugs of pomegranate molasses and the same of olive oil

Method

All in a blender and whizz it up, keeping it still a bit rustic, not too smooth. Add additional olive oil and/or pomegranate molasses to taste if necessary 

I found that it thickened up a bit by day two and I loosened it up with a bit of water 

Use it as a dip, spoon it over roasted vegetables, as a filling for a roasted sweet potato, or eat straight from the bowl with a spoon…or mix with chickpeas like I did as a side dish…

And of course, I whizzed up some of these chickpeas with some tahini and water to make a dip which I enjoyed with my lunch today..


With a pile of leftover stalks I decided to whizz them up into something else – I end up with so many stripped stalks in my kitchen, I literally spend hours and hours stripping parsley and coriander leaves from stalks, I view it as a form of meditation, but recently I’ve started utilising the stalks too – and so on this occasion I created a paste/pesto with coriander stalks, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and za’atar, and it worked really well..

Ingredients

A pile of coriander stalks

A handful of toasted pumpkin seeds

A handful of toasted sunflower seeds 

2-3 garlic cloves, peeled

2-3 tablespoons za’atar spice mix

Lots of olive oil

Salt to taste 

Method

Whizz in a blender, keeping it rustic and maintaining some crunch from the seeds 

Again, if you have some left and it thickens overnight, loosen up with a splash of water 

Use as a dip, as a pesto, whatever you fancy! I added it to all sorts of dishes and salads.

I hope you like my coriander ideas, and that you’ll join us at Fiesta Friday and see what everyone else brings along. 

Happy Friday! 

Wild garlic love..

 
I have been seeing lots of posts and recipes using wild garlic, not least from the fabulous Kellie from Food to Glow, and I have been desperate to try some, but not brave enough to forage for it myself! As the name suggests, wild garlic grows wildly, in our countryside, but like all foraged goods, you really need to know what you’re looking for. It’s very easy to pick the wrong thing and poison yourself, so be sure you know what you’re looking for before you don gloves and grab scissors and basket….! 

Kellie recently posted this photo and description on her Instagram account, which was extremely useful.. 

  …especially when someone recently tried to sell me some supposed ‘wild garlic’ that looked more like the poisonous version that Kellie talks about!!!!! Luckily I referred to her photo before eating it 🙂 

This weekend I purchased some REAL wild garlic.. 

 
..and immediately revisited Kellie’s blog for her wild garlic pesto recipe. So good!!! I just whizzed up the (carefully washed) wild garlic leaves with pine nuts, Parmesan, olive oil and lemon juice.. 

  
…so tasty!!!!! The wild garlic gave the pesto a slight sweetness that you don’t get from normal garlic. Overall the flavour is milder than standard garlic and supposedly does not taint your breath, but as my menfolk have become immune to my garlic breath now, I couldn’t tell you whether it did or not! 

 And absolutely gorgeous atop a roasted sweet potato yesterday… 

 I’m so glad I finally got to try it, I’ll definitely be on the look out for more, but only from knowledgeable foragers! 

Such pretty flowers on it too, and they are also edible and very tasty..  

     I hope you’ve had or are having a great Monday, I’ll be back on Wednesday with a stunning ‘What would you feed me?’ guest post xx