Cooking with Wild Garlic

If you’ve been cycling or walking through forest recently you may have picked up an often quite strong scent of garlic in the air. In season between late winter and spring, wild garlic (also, ramsons or bear’s garlic) grows in prodigious quantity in damp, deciduous woodland. It can be identified not only by its garlic-like scent, but also by its distinctive lush green leaves and pretty white petals. If you can get your hands on some, and I’d be surprised if there isn’t any nearby, then it has many culinary applications, chief among which is Wild Garlic Pesto.

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Spinach, Feta and Walnut Pesto

You wouldn’t think it from the limited selection available at supermarkets, but pesto is an incredibly versatile sauce. A quick internet search reveals just how much variety there is out there, beyond the traditional Genoese basil flavour. My advice is to go with the seasons when it comes to pesto – basil isn’t always the best choice. For instance, there’s a definite autumnal feel about this Spinach, Feta and Walnut Pesto – very comforting indeed.

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Red Pepper Pesto Recipe

Invariably simple to produce and devastatingly delicious, pesto is almost certainly the last word in quick, easy and frugal meals. Of course, it has applications outside the world of fusilli (basil pesto is, for instance, a rather delicious addition to soup), but that’s where its heart shall forever rest. For example, take this roasted red pepper pesto – in order for one’s pasta to obtain a satisfactory demise, all one need do is roast some fruit along with a little garlic, blitz it up with a few added extras and yell “Bob’s my uncle” at the top of one’s lungs. You’ll be glad to hear that the last step is not, and hopefully never will be, obligatory.

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Posting two similar recipes in quick succession isn’t something that I’d usually indulge in, but time has been short recently and pizzas are awfully quick and simple to make; particularly when using pre-prepared dough. While on the subject of dough, a couple of you weren’t sure how the quality of it would be affected by being frozen for a few days. It seems that all fears of any dough-damage were entirely misplaced, as it produced a base of exactly the same quality. However, one must ensure that the dough has completely thawed before use. Indeed, I would suggest that one ought really to remove it from any chilled environment overnight before using it for pizza. Those of you who suggested that such an act would degrade the dough ought to feel ashamed. I wasn’t aware that faith in my instruction had waned quite that much!

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I like to think that most of the recipes and photos posted to this blog have a certain rustic charm to them. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this, but it comes rather too easily to me. Occasionally one must challenge oneself to break free of their expected roles – this is one of my infrequent flutters into the realm of ponce. Actually, let’s face it, I endeavour to spend most of my time as a pretentious so-and-so; this is my attempt to have my food join me.

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