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Monday 13 April 2015

Wild Garlic Hummus, Wild Garlic Pesto and Green Chicken - Obsessed by Spring Foraging

I make a batch of hummus every month and freeze it in portions, so we always have hummus available, it's my husband's favourite filling for his lunchtime sandwich.  I was looking for ways to use the wild garlic I had picked and, as hummus contains garlic, I decided to try making it with wild garlic.
Sometimes I forget just how fortunate I am to live in the country, mostly in the cold dark days of winter.  However, I am reminded of the joys of country living  in spring when everything starts to grow again.  Close to where I live there are some woods with a burn (stream) running through them and this is my favourite place to walk.  This year the Wild Garlic (Ransoms) have gone completely berserk and are covering the roadsides as well as the side of this little waterway.

We even had a late flurry of snow this weekend but you can see that the flowers are nearly ready to pop on this particular wild garlic plant.

Wild Garlic Hummus
250g cooked chickpeas
3 tablespoons of tahini
1 lemon, juiced
50g wild garlic, roughly torn
60ml olive oil
some of the cooking liquid from the chickpeas or water

Put all the ingredients into your food processor and process.  Add cooking liquid or water until you have the thickness and texture you prefer.

Wild Garlic Pesto
If you ask how best to preserve foraged wild garlic you will find many people will direct you to make pesto.  So I did! It has a stunning colour and an intense flavour and you can freeze it for later.

You need:
100g wild garlic leaves, roughly torn
50g nuts (I used almonds)
200 ml oil (I used olive oil)
75g cheese (I used a combination of grated cheddar and parmesan)
Pinch of sea salt

Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Serve with pasta, risotto or however you would usually serve pesto.

Green Chicken or Turkey Breast
It looks a bit lurid when you first rub this mixture over your chicken or turkey, but it mellows down once cooked and and adds a subtle garlic flavour to the meat.  

40 g wild garlic
1 tsp lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
125 ml  of olive oil

  1. Roughly tear up the wild garlic leaves and put them and the rest of the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.  
  2. Loosen the skin of the chicken or turkey breast and rub some of the mixture under the skin, directly onto the breast meat.  Then rub the rest of the mixture over the whole bird.
  3. Roast  breast side up for 20 minutes at 180C, then turn over and roast for the time appropriate to the size of your bird to make sure it is cooked through.  Test by piercing with a skewer at the thickest part and the juices will run clear when it is cooked. 

Wild Garlic Omelette
A very simple dish but one which really makes the flavour of the wild garlic the main feature.

3 free range eggs
1 tablespoon of water
4 or 5 Wild Garlic leaves, finely shredded
a knob of butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Beat the eggs and water together and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Melt the butter in the omelette pan (I actually keep a pan only for omelettes but any good pan will do) on a medium heat until it starts to sizzle.
  2.  Pour in the eggs and as they start to set push the outside edges towards the centre and tip the pan to all the uncooked egg on top to fill the gaps, do this for about 30 seconds then add the wild garlic leaves.
  3. When the egg is almost but not quite cooked, Fold the omelette over onto itself , there should still be a soft oozy bit in the middle. Serve with brown bread and butter and a green salad.  
I hope you have enjoyed this foray into the world of foraged food and you are encouraged to seek out some wild food for yourself.  Please be very careful what you pick and where you pick it from, getting someone to show you which plants are safe is the best way to learn. 

I'm adding these recipes to Cooking with Herbs, the Linky Party run by Karen at Lavender and Lovage 

I'm also entering this seasonal wild garlic for Ren Behan's Simple and in Season which is being hosted this month by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours

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At 13 April 2015 at 21:40 , Blogger Keep Calm and Fanny On said...

Lovely, I made soooooo much pesto with my Wild Garlic, wish I'd thought to make Hummous with it though! Bet it's gorgeous?..

At 13 April 2015 at 21:41 , Blogger Janice said...

It is very good and I love the look with the little flecks of green.

At 13 April 2015 at 21:47 , Blogger Unknown said...

Lovely post- just got some wild garlic so looking forward to try the hummus!

At 14 April 2015 at 10:18 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a wild garlic craze at the moment too! I was thinking of making some hummus next with it so will use your recipe, thanks.

At 14 April 2015 at 11:18 , Blogger Unknown said...

All I can say is YUM! Well, not all I can say. :-) We too are fortunate to live near wild garlic (and other foragey things) and at this time of year I can't get enough of recipes featuring this deeply lovely plant. Thanks for sharing this with us. :-)

At 14 April 2015 at 14:32 , Anonymous Alison said...

I have yet to see any wild garlic, would love to be able to pick it. Love your hummus

At 14 April 2015 at 17:25 , Blogger Unknown said...

OMG OMG I am SO making wild garlic humous and wild garlic pesto when I go home next weekend! It is SUCH a huge bonus living in the countryside, I have my secret stash that I go visit in April and I cannot wait... your humous looks superb!

At 14 April 2015 at 19:07 , Blogger Janice said...

Thank you. Enjoy!

At 14 April 2015 at 19:08 , Blogger Janice said...

It's so addictive, isn't it? Glad you liked the recipe.

At 14 April 2015 at 19:10 , Blogger Janice said...

Aw thanks Kelllie. If you look carefully at the picture with the food processor you will see the jug of jellified chickpea cooking water that I mentioned on your mousse post.

At 14 April 2015 at 19:10 , Blogger Janice said...

Shame Alison, keep looking!

At 14 April 2015 at 19:12 , Blogger Janice said...

Thank you and get foraging Dom, we have to make the best of our country larder!

At 14 April 2015 at 19:15 , Blogger Janice said...

Thank you and get foraging Dom, we have to make the best of our country larder!

At 14 April 2015 at 22:34 , Blogger Munchies and Munchkins said...

Ooh I'm planning on going foraging this week. I also bought an incredible wild garlic sea salt - huge flakes of salt with wild garlic strewn through from a brand called Falksalt in a local deli yesterday and it's amazing. Your recipes have seriously made me drool tonight.

At 15 April 2015 at 09:03 , Blogger Unknown said...

You can't go wrong with a bit of garlic in your life - pinning this one. Love your photographs. :)

At 15 April 2015 at 10:28 , Anonymous My Family Ties said...

I just saw this recipe on twitter and had to come over to your blog to see the recipe, I have pinned it for later as I will definitely make this with my kids, it looks amazing - thank you for sharing :)

At 15 April 2015 at 14:10 , Blogger Karen S Booth said...

THANKS for your wonderful entry into Cooking with Herbs Janice and may I say what a FABULOUS post this is too - I LOVE the photos and the recipe too of course! Karen

At 15 April 2015 at 19:24 , Blogger Unknown said...

OH YES this looks gorgeous!

At 15 April 2015 at 20:04 , Blogger Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Oh yum both the hummus and pesto sound great Janice. I haven't been lucky enough to find a path of wild garlic yet. Maybe I just don't know what I am looking for.

At 15 April 2015 at 21:51 , Blogger Janice said...

Thank you, the salt sounds really interesting.

At 15 April 2015 at 21:51 , Blogger Janice said...

Thank you Sarah, I agree about the garlic!

At 15 April 2015 at 21:52 , Blogger Janice said...

That's lovely to hear, I hope you enjoy it.

At 15 April 2015 at 21:52 , Blogger Janice said...

You are welcome Karen, I get very excited by free food!

At 15 April 2015 at 21:54 , Blogger Janice said...

Thanks Jac. it's easier to identify once the flowers come out as they are very onion like flowers and you can smell the garlic as you walk past. Then you just have to remember where they are for the next year as the leaves are better when they are young before it flowers. Woods and boggy wetlands seem to suit it best.

At 22 April 2015 at 15:39 , Blogger Unknown said...

Wild garlic hummus sounds fantastic! I've just been making plans to go on the hunt for some wild garlic this weekend actually and now I've spotted this - looks like I have no excuse but to try it ;)

At 27 April 2015 at 10:54 , Anonymous Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours said...

Oh a plethora of lovely wild garlic recipes! There is nothing like free food! I love the hummus and of course you can freeze it - I have no idea why I don't do this! Thanks for linking up to Simple and in Season.


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