What a difference a week makes. As I reached my foraging site earlier this week I was stunned by how much the wild garlic had grown since my last visit. Much of what is there is now so large it’s past its best but there are still fresh young leaves to be found amongst the larger leaves.
I was met with mixed emotions on seeing the flowers starting to open. Joy at their beauty and the thought of how they could be used but sadness because their appearance means my challenge will shortly be drawing to a close.
I had better make the most of the time I have left and get my thinking cap on for ways in which I can preserve the leaves for a little while after the season has ended. In the meantime, this is what I’ve been making this week:
Crispy shredded wild garlic leaves. I deep fried the shredded leaves, crispy seaweed style and used them to sprinkle on top of a Thai style pork mince, vegetable and noodle dish. The crisp texture was perfect to finish this dish and the intense flavour really complimented the spicy, sweet, salty, sour combination.
Wild garlic paneer. Paneer (Indian cheese) is a ridiculously easy way to start making your own cheese. All you need is whole milk and lemon juice. I haven’t yet graduated beyond my own paneer but there’s still time! I flavoured mine with chopped wild garlic leaves before forming and pressing and turned it into an Indian stirfry with coriander and mustard seeds, curry leaves, spinach and coriander. We ate the paneer as part of a thali with ginger and cumin okra, tarka dhal, kachumba and chapattis.
Wild garlic stuffing. I sweated some finely chopped onion in oil, mixed with breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and finely chopped wild garlic leaves and used it to stuff a pork roasting join. A salty crushed fennel seed and black pepper rub for the crackling worked well with both the pork and the stuffing.
Wild garlic crostini. I used the remainder of the wild garlic oil I made to go with the pea soup in week two to drizzle onto thinly sliced bread which I then toasted. I served the crostini with my chorizo and butterbean stew.