Friday, 29 April 2016

WILD GARLIC PESTO BREAD


So far we have had Scones, Butter and Pesto all made with gorgeous foraged Wild Garlic but I promise this is the last of the wild garlic recipes.  The trouble was that I had all this lush pesto that I could not resist using some of it for bread.  I just love making bread and even though it takes a couple of hours, you're only really working for about 20 minutes, the rest of the time it does all the work itself.

I always make double the quantity because I think if you're going to go to the effort of making it, why not make lots.  I would say freeze it if it's too much but it never is and gets eaten pretty much before it's completely cooled.



When I made this batch, I doubled it and made a loaf and some rolls which I then split and spread with Wild Garlic Butter and topped with Pecorino before grilling for garlic bread.


500g Strong White Bread Flour
15g Yeast
320g Warm Water
2 tbsp Wild Garlic Pesto


Mix the flour, yeast and salt. Combine the water with the pesto and mix into the flour with a knife  to form a dough.  Knead it on a lightly oiled surface for 10 minutes till smooth. Now return the dough to the bowl and cover with a shower cap or cling film.  Rest for 1 hour till doubled in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl and 'knock back' to original size.  Form into your loaf shape or divide it into 12 pieces, they should weigh about 80g each.  Shape each one and leave to rest on a baking sheet or stone and cover with a tea towel.  Rest for a further hour to double again. Before baking, slash the tops with a sharp knife. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 200C



Monday, 11 April 2016

WILD GARLIC PESTO


And so it continues, more Wild Garlic recipes. This,  like the Wild Garlic Butter, is a recipe which gives a longer life to your reward from woodland foraging and I have even been known to spread a little onto The Wild Garlic Scones from last weeks blog.

Just like regular basil pesto, everything goes in a processor and gets blitzed to within an inch of it's life.  The recipe is pretty much the same but you omit the garlic and replace the basil with wild garlic leaves.


60g Pine Nuts
100g Wild Garlic Leaves
60g Pecorino / Parmesan grated
250ml Olive Oil
Black Pepper


Start by toasting the pine nuts, pop them into a dry pan and heat till they start to brown.  Toasting them helps to bring out the flavour more.  Now add them to the processor along with the garlic leaves and pecorino.  Whizz everything together then while it's still running, slowly pour in the oil till you get the consistency you are happy with, you may use less of the oil than I have recommended, I like quite a loose blend.  Season with black pepper but not salt, the cheese is already quite salty. Store in a jam jar in the fridge or even freeze if you like.




Saturday, 9 April 2016

SMOKEY WILD GARLIC BUTTER - Lamb Leg Steaks & Wild Garlic Mash


So far I've made scones with the wild garlic leaves which I gathered from some woodland foraging but to ensure I get the most form my delicious tender bounty, I've made wild garlic butter which I know I shall be adding to everything I possibly can in the coming weeks.  

Flavoured butters are a fantastic way of using up left over herbs that are a bit past their best.  You can keep them in the freezer and just chop a bit off as required.  I've also added some smoked salt flakes to this for an extra smack of flavour.

This could not be simpler, chop a 250g block of unsalted butter, use salted if you are not adding the smoked salt. Drop the butter into a food processor and add 50g of Wild Garlic Leaves and a generous teaspoon of Smoked Salt Flakes.

Whizz everything together till the leaves are finely chopped and you have a soft vivid spread.  Divide it into two and form each into a log and wrap in parchment.

You are now ready to boost your cooking with a hit of wild garlic.  Now I realise that not everything on your plate has to be cooked in this enhanced butter but for the purposes of this blog, that's just what I've done and to be honest, there were no complaints.



I heated a thick slice of wild garlic butter in a large frying pan with 1 tbsp of oil to stop the butter burning.  Once the butter started to sizzle I added seasoned lamb leg steaks and cooked them for about 4 minutes on each side. Serve with a drizzle of the wild garlic butter.


We had the lamb with a feta & Onion salad and creamy mashed potato with yes, you guessed it, wild garlic butter and a handful of wild garlic leaves stirred through it.  What's not to like!