coronavirus

Wild garlic everywhere!

We’re halfway through April and more and more plants are making an appearance.

Living in the country, we can go for walks over fields and in the woods. If we do see anyone, they’re usually dog walkers, and we all keep our distance.

One thing we’ve all noticed is, the English would often blank you, but now everyone says Hello.

At the moment, the woods are full of bluebells. It’s a beautiful sight.

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Jack-by-theHedge, left. Wild garlic, right.

Also growing everywhere now are wild garlic and Jack-by-the-Hedge. They both smell strongly of garlic, but the wild garlic is for cooking and Jack-by-the-Hedge is eaten raw in salads.

The nettles are due to appear at any time now, so I’ll let you have a delicious recipe for nettle and wild garlic soup soon.

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Wild garlic

I gently boiled the wild garlic after washing it, and didn’t add any more water. I stirred it often until it became very soft.

It’s in my fridge and I use it like a paste to add flavour to recipes.

The whole plant is edible, including the roots and flowers. The flower buds can be pickled.

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Skorthalia

SKORTHALIA

This is a great way to use up stale bread. It’s a Greek recipe but I’ve also eaten it in Malta.

Soak the bread for about 10 minutes, then gently squeeze out the excess water.

Put it in a food processor with about 4 cloves of garlic, or a generous amount of cooked Wild Garlic, a drop of wine vinegar, or whatever you have, a glug of olive oil, seasoning, and walnuts (optional).

The sauce should be slightly runny.

Serve it as a dip.

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Bubble & Squeak

GOOD OLD BRITISH BUBBLE & SQUEAK.

This used to be served on Mondays to use up any leftover meat and vegetables. But now it’s become a popular dish, and is often served at Christmas or Boxing Day.

You need any selection of chopped cooked veg, but it must include onions, potatoes, and hard veg like carrots, parsnips, etc and soft veg like cabbage or Brussels Sprouts.

This is completely Vegan. But you can add chopped cooked meat. You can also add some gravy.

Tip some oil in a frying-pan and add the veg, turning it around so that it all gets hot.

If you like, you can mix in a couple of beaten eggs.

Pat it down into a neat circle and leave for about 5 minutes to finish cooking at a high heat.

You can also place it in the oven if your pan is oven proof.

It’s called Bubble & Squeak because it used to be cooked in dripping and it would make a lot of noise while it cooked.

Serve on its own, or with pork chops, potatoes and gravy.