Back to those foraged leaves from the previous post…Most important thing, having made sure you picked them from a safe place, wash the leaves really thoroughly…
OK, so i already posted how to make a pesto from few flowered leeks, for the recipe click here…
i decide to do the same with the wild garlic leaves…works really well but be warned this is a far more pungent (but delicious) version…after processing more than half a kilo of wild garlic, my home smells really REALLY of garlic for a day or two!
The pesto freezes really well, i use an ice cube to portion it out.
I have so many leaves that i try some other methods of preservation. I make a wild garlic paste by whizzing it up with some olive oil – the ordinary kind, nothing fancy- and salt (for every 100g of leaves use 100g of oil and 6g salt) . I read that this will keep in a sterilised jar in the fridge for many months…just make sure you top it up with a layer of oil to stop the leaves oxidising. I use it to boost the flavour of soups or stews or in marinades.
…and do not disguard the stalks, they are delicious, i wilt them along with some of the leaves, v nice with steak or fish, or add them to a daal.
tortilla de maiz y chicharrones fabada asturiana lemons mrs beeton and colombia merluza-a-la-cazuela lebre con castañas 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 chorizos returning to the matanza chocolate con churros pani puri sunday cicchetti tea-break baracca empanada revelations in a milanese restaurant further adventures in foraging cooking the haul foraging2 foraging nose to tail (s)light relief pulpo a la gallega the matanza morcilla and dying arts jamòn serrano
…it all started off with a walk up the Pentland Hills, then down to Currie and along the Water of Leith into Edinburgh.
Edinburgh from the the Pentlands
So walking along the Water of Leith we came across the unmistakable and pungent (in a good way) smell of wild garlic…
we try to pick only from the steepest banks in the hope that it is less likely to be tainted by…i don’t know… dog pee…??
i love this season, i usually go down to the Hermitage to forage for few flowered leeks (similar to wild garlic but a little less pungent). Anyway we came across MASSES of the stuff easily spotted by the clumps of ribbony, silky leaves (almost like lilies) and of course the aroma. We picked around a kilo between two of us (worth a fortune in shops at the moment)
I rush home to process it all as an hour or so after picking, the leaves to wilt, clocking up 20km of walking.
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
cooking the haul
Posted in documentary, flora, food, photographic, scotland
Tagged Allium paradoxum, braid burn, few-flowered leeks, foraging, hermitage, ladybird, peakock butterfly, wild garlic
Came across this froggy display of love in the hermitage while looking for more of the wild garlic mentioned in the previous post…
and this rather rad broken down butterfly, literally on its last legs again among the garlic…
…and here is edinburgh by night at the moment
the meadows in full bloom