Into the wild

Wild garlic season is here! In recent years I’ve been lucky enough to be in the countryside wandering around, occasionally catching a garlicky whiff in the air and heading that way to pick some of the leaves. In SW London, we tend not to come across it growing in the wild, but we are lucky enough to have amazing companies like Oddbox, who rescued a bunch of surplus wild garlic that was otherwise going to waste - well, of course we took (quite) a few bags off their hands, and have subsequently been eating wild-garlic-everything for the last ten days. I think our morning porridge is the only thing that has escaped a generous helping so far.

That also means all my recipes this week will have a glaringly obvious wild garlic theme, starting with a really simple, almost non-recipe - wild garlic oil. One of my favourites because it’s really useful, versatile and keeps in the frdge for a couple of weeks or can be frozen in small portions for use all year round.

All you need is equal quantities (by weight) of washed wild garlic (leaves, stems, flowers all good) and cold-pressed rapeseed oil. To make, blanch the wild garlic in rapidly boiling, salted water, for 30 seconds, then immediately refresh it by plunging it into a bowl of ice cold / iced water. Drain and place in a nutribullet or other blender, with the oil. Blitz well, until the leaves have been totally pureed. Drain the oil through a muslin into a container ready for use or freezing.

The amazing bright green oil makes amazing salad dressings, mayo, hollandaise, pesto, and can be used on its own for seasoning all kinds of veg and pasta dishes.