Our annual homage to one of our favourite ingredients.
Ramsons, wood garlic, wild garlic; call it what you will, Allium ursinum is a forager’s delight and one of the best natural ingredients around at this time of year. It’s hard to pin down it’s exact season, but the plant is often to be found in abundance around damp woodlands from around mid March until the end of May.
Unlike the usual variety of garlic, the wild stuff is prized for it’s leaves rather than it’s bulb. It’s flowers are also edible, but are more often used raw in salads(or delicious if pickled!). It’s distinctive and herbaceous aroma is somewhere between a scallion and normal garlic, and this subtlety makes it incredibly versatile.
Be careful when foraging yourself – it looks a bit like the poisonous ‘Lily of the valley ‘ plant. For positively identifying wild garlic, a quick grind of the leaves between the fingers should reveal a garlic like smell .
Our Café menus will be also feature plenty of Garlic with delicious specials at our Friday night supper in New Antrim street (Book on 094 9023376) as well as dishes like Friendly Farmer Chicken Kievs, Andarl Pork with Wild Garlic stuffing, Fishcakes with poached eggs and wild Garlic hollandaise.
Our shop will also be stocking wild garlic flavoured breads, soups, pestos, tarts and mayo to take home .
At the end of the month – Tuesday April 30th – we’ll also be covering some recipes featuring Wild Garlic , and celebrating some other great seasonal ingredients such as Irish Sprouting Broccoli, Spring Cabbage, Rhubarb and Asparagus. The evening includes all notes, a light supper and a glass of wine and tickets are priced at €35. If you’d like to come, please call our delicatessen on 094 9286072.
Some things to do with Wild Garlic….
BLITZ some of the leaves in good olive oil a
And stir through mayonnaise
WILT the washed leaves in a pan as you would with spinach. Lovely with a poached egg on some sourdough toast
CHOP some of the leaves into pasta,
Mash or risotto for a great garlicky edge.
SHAPE the left over mash or rice into cakes, add some
Cheese, a few more chopped leaves , dust in flour and fry
in a pan.
Blitz together about 50 g of lightly toasted pine nuts, grated Parmesan cheese until roughly chopped and then throw in a good handful of wild garlic leaves, and the zest of a lemon and blitz it up again.
Add about 100 ml of good quality extra virgin olive oil and season carefully to taste.