Wild Garlic

A happy find on our Sunday sunny afternoon walk this last weekend.  A small reminder that whilst life as we know it is very different, at the moment, for many of us, to the one we were leading only a few weeks ago, the world still turns and nature is still beavering away, quietly (or not so quietly if you have stopped to listen to the excited chatter of nest building birds recently), doing what it does.

patch of wild garlic

Wild Garlic

 

Below are some links to last years Wild Garlic recipes.  The cheesy garlic pull-bread is a real showstopper. Serve it warm, oozing with butter and cheese, very simply with a fresh mixed salad, with a fresh minestrone, or other favourite, soup.

Stay Safe Stay Well

As I’m writing I’m reminded that Stirring Stuff’s Minestrone soup was widely taught on our beginner courses.  It was a great recipe for teaching knife-handling-skills as well as what terms such as, ‘sauté until translucent’, and, ‘sweat’, mean and looked like in practice. Hardened cooks tend to forget that people new to the kitchen may not have a clue what these terms mean, or , how to judge things, that we take for granted, such as adding liquid amounts and when not to follow a recipe slavishly.  Slavishly following a recipe, without a little know-how, can end in disaster, which is very dispiriting. As well as great knife skills, which makes cooking so much more enjoyable, teaching people to use their  judgment, when to err on the side of, less is better, were skills that we strove to instil on our beginners classes at Stirring Stuff.

For old times sake I have posted Stirring Stuffs  Minestrone recipe for you  below the links for Pesto.

Wild Garlic Pesto Pull Bread

The Pesto will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. Use a few spoonful to mix with pasta or fork mash new potatoes with a teaspoon of butter and 1-2 teaspoonfuls of wild garlic pesto.

Wild Garlic

Cup of Fresh Wild Garlic

Other Pesto recipes that you might enjoy:

Fresh Basil Pesto

Chicory, orange and watercress salad with a toasted walnut pesto

Stirring Stuff’s Minestrone Soup

minestrone 1 023

5 a day in a bowl. A nourishing meal in itself soup full of vibrant fresh vegetables, beans for protein and pasta for carbohydrate.

Ingredients

Serves 4-6

1 white onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 small leak, washed and thinly sliced

1 medium carrots peeled cut into small dice

1 stick of celery, strings removed and thinly sliced

1 medium courgette, cut into small dice

50g green beans, diced

15g fresh basil, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes

500ml of water or vegetable stock

300ml tomato passata, or,  a second tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tin haricot or Borlloti beans, drained and rinsed in a sieve under cold water

30g pasta shapes or broken spaghetti or pastini (optional)

15g fresh basil, chopped, for adding before serving.

Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.

To serve:

Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle, (watch the variety as some olive oils can add a very peppery and pungent taste), grated Parmesan cheese or fresh pesto

Cheese scones, garlic or garlic pull-bread or a simple fresh Crusty loaf.

 

Method

Prepare the vegetables and basil as instructed in the ingredients list and place in small bowls or on a tray in separate piles. They go into the cooking pan at different times.

Time to Sauté and Sweat

Put the olive oil into a large lidded pan and place it over a moderate heat.

Add the diced onions and stir to coat all of the pieces, well, with the oil.

Watch the temperature, you want the onions to sizzle or sauté, but they should not brown. Use your nose as a guide; within 1 minute or so you should notice a familiar  aroma of cooked onions . At this stage add the garlic and stir well. Again use your nose.

When the tantalizing smell of ‘garlic bread’, wafts your way, after about 30 seconds, it’s time to add the leek. Stir the leek to coat with the oil and the onion and garlic. Stir until the leek has softened and wilted.

Add the prepared celery, carrot, courgette and the green beans. Stir well and then cover the pan with its lid, reduce the heat, if necessary, and very gently cook the vegetables for 5 minutes. This is called ‘sweating’ and it releases the flavours.

Next add the liquids:

Tip the tinned chopped tomatoes, the tomato passata and 500ml of water or vegetables stock into the pan and stir well.

Add the, drained, tinned beans. Sprinkle over the chopped basil. Stir again and then put the lid onto the pan and bring the Minestrone to a boil. One the soup is being to boil, reduce the heat so that the liquid simmers rather than fast boils.

After about 20 minutes the vegetables should be al dente (almost but not quite cooked through). Stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. If you are not adding pasta then continue to simmer the soup for a further 10 minutes. you can add a little more water or stock at this stage if the soup is looking a bit thick.

Add the pasta or spaghetti if using:

This next stage is optional. Add the pasta or spaghetti to the soup and stir well or it will stick to the bottom of your pan. Continue simmering the soup for another 10 minutes to allow the pasta to cook.

Remove the pan from the heat; check your seasoning adding salt and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper as required. Stir in the remaining freshly chopped basil.

To serve: ladle into warm bowls and put a dollop of pesto into the centre of each serving, drizzle with extra virgin olive and sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil.

Serve with, warm, crusty bread, cheese scones, cheese on toast or cheesy pesto pull bread.

This soup is worth making in a large quantity as it reheats beautifully for a couple of days without losing its vibrancy.

More Soup Recipes to enjoy:

Turn the temperature up with winter warming soups.

Happy Cooking

 

 

5 Comments

  1. John Duckett says:

    Very interesting to see the garlic recipes. We have a lot of wild garlic on the Isle of Wight, a Garlic Festival and a Garlic Farm at Newchurch.

    Like

  2. Jan says:

    Ah Britain in the Spring. Can just imagine how lovely that walk was. Love the smell of wild garlic and can’t wait to try the soup and garlic pull-bread – although here in Australia on the Autumn, we will just have to manage with market garlic.
    Lovely to see your return to Stirring Stuff posts. Jan xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Belinda says:

      Thanks Jan, we are having a glorious spring here in spite of the human difficulties. The bluebells will be out next week I think. Early but it’s been very warm . The pull-bread will be just as yummy with bulb garlic and lots of chopped parsley. Bxx

      Like

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