It’s that time again when Chef gets all excited and the pungent smell of wild garlic hangs in the air. I suspect these two things are connected as he spends an inordinate amount of his free time out in the spring sunshine with his kitchen team gathering armfuls of these small leaves. Either that or it’s a ritual team bonding peculiar to chefs!
As Chef seems to get so wired up by this modest wee ingredient, I thought I’d better do a bit of research of my own so I could explain to our gathering public why it was populating the menu. First of all, it’s the leaves that are the thing. However, the flowers are not only pretty but edible too. Surrounded by trees, as we are here in Cove, we can literally walk out the back door of the kitchen and collect a fresh supply of wild garlic as we require it. Wild Garlic or Allium ursinum, grows in woodlands, often in the vicinity of bluebells and can be easily identified by its garlic-like smell.
Its mild flavour combined with its local origin makes it an ideal ingredient for a Scottish kitchen and gives us a wonderful time thinking up new ways of incorporating it into our dishes.
So when you next whiff the distinctive scent of wild garlic in the air, look out for a trail of chefs hiding in the undergrowth.
Wild Garlic Veloute
1 clove garlic
Tsp olive oil
100ml double cream
Salt and pepper
700g wild garlic
Finley slice shallots and garlic clove, sweat off in a heavy based sauce pan with the olive oil. Cook gently until soft but no colour.
Add wild garlic and cook, let it wilt but do not colour.
Once all ingredients are soft add stock and cream, reduce by half.
Blitz, pass, season to taste.