PRODUCE SEASONAL HIGHLIGHT : WILD GARLIC
Wild garlic is a spring favourite. Its punchy flavour and aroma are a welcome jolt to the system following the winter slumber, and each year just as spring arrives, the leaves begin to sprout along marshy meadows and edging streams in woodland settings. In spring we also welcome the return of Wild Garlic Yarg, a version of Cornish Yarg wrapped in wild garlic leaves, which becomes available a couple months after the wild garlic season begins.
On our menus and in our shops we also make liberal use of fresh wild garlic, sourced from growers in Cornwall who also provide many of our edible flowers and other foraged ingredients throughout the year. Perfect for pureeing into soups, sauces and condiments, wild garlic leaves can also be steamed as a vegetable or used fresh as an herb; their delicate white flowers adding a lovely hit of heat to salads too. One of our Chef Alessandro’s favourite ways to use wild garlic is by making a pesto. Below he’s used the recipe to dress Trofie pasta in a very Ligurian style, served alongside beans and potatoes. He recommends making a few small adjustments if you’d like to serve this pesto with other meals; for example, add a few extra sprigs of tarragon and it’s delicious with fish, or add fresh mint and serve with roast lamb.
WILD GARLIC PESTO
- 100g Wild Garlic
- 50g Parsley
- 50g Basil
- 20g Tarragon
- 50g Pine Nuts, toasted
- 80g Pecorino Sardo, grated
- 40g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
- 150ml Elena Luigia Taggiasce Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper
Put all the ingredients except the olive oil and the pine nuts into a food processor and pulse a few seconds until smooth. Add an ice cube and with the food processor running, slowly pour the olive oil, and continuing processing until the mix is smooth. Add the pine nuts and then blitz for few more seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust with more oil if needed.