Tag Archives: few-flowered leeks

few flowered recipes…

So following on from my previous post on foraging for few flowered leeks by the Braid burn, here is what i did with my free haul…

few flowered leek and walnut pesto

(these amounts are all approximate you can adjust them to your taste)

100g wild garlic or few flowered leek leaves

80g walnuts

80g parmesan cheese

good extra virgin olive oil (i prefer Tuscan for the fruity flavour)

So i don’t have a food processor, so this was all done by hand. First crumble the walnuts into a dry, hot frying pan (no oil) and lightly toast them, keep them moving otherwise they will burn. Set aside to cool in a large bowl. When cooled, pound them to a bread crumb like consistency in a pestle and mortar and return to the large bowl.

Meanwhile finely chop your wild leaves and then pound them in a pestle and mortar with a little sea salt, add them to the bowl with the now cooled, crushed walnuts. To this mixture also add the finely grated parmesan.

Now all you have to do is glug in the oil and mix, so that it all incorporates, keep adding more oil till you achieve the consistency you like with your pesto. Taste and add a little more salt if required… And there you have it, delicious and really simple using just 4 ingredients.

I like it with linguine, or as crostini in oven toasted ciabatta slices  or even in a baked potato. It freezes by the way, though you should apply a thin top layer of oil to the container it’s in to “seal” it and stop it oxidising.

Sweet Potato and Few Flowered Leek Soup – A take on the classic leek and potato soup, i thought I’d experiment…it works!

ingredients

1 large onion

1 large sweet potato

300 g few flowered leeks

good stock

nutmeg, a bay leaf, salt and pepper

Sauté the onion till transparent, add a bay leaf, salt and black pepper and some freshly grated nutmeg. Pour in some hot stock (vegetable, chicken or ham) and add the peeled sweet potatoes which have been cut into chunks. The stock should comfortably cover the sweet potatoes. Simmer till the potatoes are cooked. At the last minute add the washed few flowered leek leaves and cook for 1 more minute. Fish out the bay leaf and liquidise the soup till it is smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. It should taste sweet and savoury and earthy from the wild leaves.         

other foody posts on this blog:

callos a la gallega

ossobuco vs xerrete

in praise of colombian food

restaurant still lives

few flowered recipes

first forage of the season

nose to tail and farajullas

flloeira

cocido gallego

albariño wine genius

returning to the matanza

chorizos

chocolate con churros

pani puri sunday

cicchetti tea-break

baracca

empanada

further adventures in foraging

revelations in a milanese restaurant

braid burn

cooking the haul

foraging2

foraging

more foodie questions

foodie questions

nose to tail,

(s)light relief,

pulpo a la gallega

the matanza

morcilla and dying arts

jamòn serrano

first forage of the season…

Back down the braid burn* in the Hermitage (or the Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill to give this part of Edinburgh its full title) in search of free food, my first foraging of the season. At this time of year parts of this area are carpeted (and perfumed) with few flowered leeks (allium paradoxum, a member of the Lily family) sometimes mistaken for wild garlic. You can see it below, right by the water on the left…

Am a bit late actually and find a lot of the plants already in flower, its best to harvest them before this…

…but luckily i still find patches that are a little behind. Next time am bringing gloves, i get stung a lot by nettles while picking the leaves and keep having to stop and find dock leaves to rub on the stings (have not done that since i was a kid!!!)

I bring home half a kilo of the stuff – just the leaves (its pretty pricey in the fancy schmancy organic store near me). I wash them thoroughly and put them in an airtight container in the fridge till i have time to deal with them (they keep really well for a few days).

Next post will feature what i actually did with the stuff…In the mean time here are some gratuitous shots of some of the fauna i came across:

The Peacock Butterfly, it’s here to feed on the nettles, which is where i found it…



There were lots of ladybirds in amongst the few flowered leeks…

* burn = Scots for stream

other foraging posts on this blog

further adventures in foraging

braid burn

cooking the haul

foraging2

foraging

braid burn…

Rounding off  this week of  foraging posts…

Inspired by my brief sojourn in Italy, i decided to have a stab at foraging back here in Edinburgh. Was told that there was loads of wild garlic* by the hermitage braid burn not so far away from my house.

It was not hard to find, for a start the whole area smelled like a giant tossed salad and there was a carpet of edible plants as far as the eye could see.

 

standing in a giant salad, the air is pungent with the scent of garlicky onion

Am suddenly very aware of being a rank amateur and the dangers of being overly keen and not careful enough in plant identification, its a bit scary doing this on your own with no one to ask, is this right???  Having checked first with the park rangers to be sure the area was not toxic and that it was safe to eat the wild plants, i gathered about a kilo of the stuff (obviously you have to wash everything carefully- this is a dog walkers paradise – and i tried to gather a bit off route). I was told that this was not normal wild garlic, but few-flowered leeks (Allium paradoxum) also known as few-flower garlic – another member of the lily family. I was also advised that it was very strong (which i could smell) and to use just the leaves. On my way home i stopped off in my local organic food store, they were selling the very same stuff for £3 per 100g!!! so theoretically i had gathered £30 worth of food for free…anyway i made some soup out of it.

Few-flowered garlic and pea soup

method:

Sweat some finely chopped onion in some butter, when soft add your roughly chopped thoroughly washed garlic leaves – this will cook down very quickly just like spinach. Add some stock (i had some good stuff left over from poaching a chicken) and some peas (frozen or fresh) boil for a minute or so and then blitz with a blender till smooth. Finish off with a little cream and season to taste, cook for another minute or so.

The really strong smelling leaves transform through the cooking process into something far more gentle and sweet than you would imagine, the result is something that tastes like a really fresh leek soup with a hint of pea , spring onion and garlic that does not need to be tampered with much, hence a simple seasoning of salt and black pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg, but i think that a few slivers of parmesan cheese in your serving bowl would not go amiss.

So anyway i ate it…it tasted good…and half a day later i appear not to have poisoned myself…result!…next…

* Other edible stuff currently growing in the braid burn area (though don’t ask me what it all looks like yet), hawthorn leaves, leaves from the lime tree , wood sage, ground elder (though the rangers said this was edible but not very nice…maybe i will give it a miss), young nettles and wood sorrel.

other foodie posts on this blog:

further adventures in foraging

cooking the haul

foraging2

foraging

more foodie questions

foodie questions

nose to tail,

(s)light relief,

pulpo a la gallega

the matanza

morcilla and dying arts

jamòn serrano