Wild About Garlic?

So I am now officially admitting defeat. I will never crack this ‘not wasting food’ thing – I’d have more success going for the ‘living in a hut in the woods and just chewing bark’ thing – I am just not organised enough. Well actually it’s not me…it’s them.

Take the other night – I am making dinner for six, The Ref, The Loafer, his girlfriend, the nearly teen and the little one – and me. So far, so ‘six defrosted salmon fillets’ good.

The little one gets invited to her friend’s for tea after school and is already being driven off as I’m composing the sentence ‘I’m not sure if that is very convenient this evening…’

The Loafer calls to say that he and his girlfriend have had a better offer, mostly consisting of staying in the pub.

The Ref dashes in, grabs his kit bag and says he going straight back out to a match –

‘But you didn’t tell me,’ I call after him.

‘Yes I did, last night  – just before you fell asleep on the sofa with that glass of Pinot Grigio in your hand.’

How come everyone always tells me stuff then?

‘So,’ I say to the Nearly Teen Queen and a tray of fennel roasted salmon, ‘it’s just the three of us.’

‘I hate salmon,’ says the NTQ, ‘and why have you put green stuff on it? Can’t I have toast?’

And the result of all this is that I have salmon for lunch every day for the next week.

The salmon went very well with the wild garlic I found recently though   – it’s great stuff – but very strong! I need to put in a bit of a disclaimer here and say please don’t go picking anything just on my say so – I’m not an expert and you need to make sure you know what you’re eating, Lily of the Valley is very similar looking, grows in the same places and is poisonous. Buy a good guide book such as Mabey’s ‘Food For Free’ImageHaving said that you’d have to be pretty dozey to mistake anything else for this as it has such a distinctive onion/garlic smell. Or put another way – it really stinks!

Wild garlic has a pretty short April/May season, and it’s fun to get it when you can. Use it in cheese sandwiches, braised like spinach or make wild garlic pesto  – which is Little E’s favourite, she eats it by the jar. There are plenty of recipies about but I just use equal weight of wild garlic leaves, nuts – you can use pine nuts but they are so expensive I just tend to use sunflower seeds or cashews, and parmesan or similar hard cheese. Blitz it all together (grate the cheese first or it takes forever to break up by which time everything else is mush – experience talking here) and add good oil (I think just extra virgin olive is too strong – go half with something milder) to the consistency you like. Just make sure you don’t need to speak to anyone for six hours after eating!

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