Friday, 22 March 2019

Wild Garlic Manifesto or My Wild Garlic Cookbook

Wild Garlic Manifesto.

It all started with Denis Cotter.  Denis Cotter was the first vegetarian chef to showcase wild garlic.  He was also the source of my inspiration, as  the very first wild garlic recipe to appear on my blog almost ten years ago was inspired by him.  This Wild Garlic Walnut Pesto comes from his cookbook aptly called Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me (2010). 

Since then there has been no stopping me. I struggled to find recipes for wild garlic at the time, even celebrity chefs and the world wide web proved disappointing at the time, so I started adapting , being inspired and created many of my own wild garlic recipes, even throwing some into tinned beans, because in my greed I had foraged so much of it.  Some recipes were original at the time and some were not so much, however  over time more and more wild garlic recipes started appearing both on blogosphere and cookbooks, that there is no longer an excuse for lack of recipes ideas and ways of using wild garlic in cooking.  

I still I remain inspired by some humble food bloggers.  I have grand plans to adapt the Green Gourmet Giraffe Savoury Green Pesto Scones with wild garlic, by the way Johanna makes the best savoury vegan and vegetarian scones in my humble opinion.  I also want to adapt this Coriander Salsa recipe and Green Curry made with spinach and coriander with wild garlic.

I decided to write this blog post for two reasons.  One its that seasonal time of year for picking wild garlic around parks, the countryside and foragers secret spots.  Secondly, I was both surprised and pleased to find some in my vegetable box this week,  so rather than re-invent the wheel, I thought I would share a selection of Wild Garlic recipes that have appeared on my blog over the last 10 years in the hope that it will inspire those of you new to wild garlic; and as a word of encouragement, experiment with wild garlic as you would spinach, please don't be tied down to recipes.  Above you will find:  Wild Garlic Farinata or Socca; Wild Garlic Crisps and Wild Garlic Hummus.  
Little savoury wild garlic chickpea pancakes or fritters.
Wild garlic Hummus
Free Falling Wild Garlic Pakoras.  You can be more experimental and add it to falafels or polpettes.
 Wild garlic Chickpea Curry
 Wild garlic Channa Dal
Wild garlic Roti
Wild Garlic Pesto Pasta
Wild Garlic Frittata or Tortilla
Wild garlic and Feta Quiche
 Wild garlic Macaroni Cheese
Trio of Garlic Savoury Cake: Wild Garlic, Black Garlic and  White Garlic
Wild Garlic, Potato, Feta and Pine Nut Quiche 
Wild garlic Gnocchi inspired by Denis Cotter stinging nettle gnocchi.  
Wild garlic Rice with Peas or add wild garlic to Risotto
Wild garlic Potato Salad with Mixed Beans
Wild garlic Tabbouleh
 Wild garlic Soup with Wild Garlic Flowers
Wild Garlic Poached Eggs or add it to an Omelette.

I will end with a very green Wild Garlic Pesto jar - the first recipe many make with their foraged bunch of wild garlic.

Other bookmarked Wild Garlic recipes to make from fellow bloggers
The Ordinary Cooks Wild Garlic Pull Apart Loaf
The Ordinary Cooks Wild Garlic Bread 

Sylvan Somethings Wild Garlic Mousse 

Monday, 18 March 2019

Cheesy Kale, Butternut Squash and Potato Pot Pie

Every weekend the past couple of months have been rain heavy that we have stayed indoors.  This weekend was not different, it poured and with me, still not feeling 100% in good health, I was happy to stay within the warmth of my four walls called home.  Only thing, we were very low on fresh vegetables and the every day question 'what's for dinner?!' lingered on my mind for a moment, but it was for only moment as we were saved the hassle of going out to shop for some vegetables.

I had a butternut squash in my vegetable basket for a couple of months, we always have the odd potato or two lying around, but that was not going to be enough to magic up a hearty meal.  I wondered if the winter greens in the garden were still edible and then actually went out to investigate.  The Tuscan black kale has gone to seed, but the curly kale still seemed to be thriving, so I plucked a good handful of leaves and ran back indoors to make dinner. This is what I made: Curly Kale, Butternut Squash and Potato Pot Pie.
The Cheesy Curly Kale, Butternut Squash and Potato Pot Pie was delightful to eat and very comforting. Sweetness from the butternut squash, a slight bitterness from the kale and neutrality from the plain potatoes.  I don't usually put cheese in my pot pies, they are very often vegan, but I wanted to ring the changes. This was super rich and very flavourful.
Part of me wished I had shared this recipe yesterday, when people worldwide were celebrating St Patrick's Day, I mean look at the colours in that pot just scream Irish flag.
Instead I am sharing this with Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Happy Acres Blog, as this overwintered curly kale came from my garden allotment plot.  I also have some rainbow chard, so hopefully I will be able to join in again next week.
I am also sharing it with Eat Your Greens food challenge that I co-host with The Veg Hog.  Please do join in if you can, there still plenty of time. 

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Shamrock Cookies

A short blog post to wish my readers, especially those of Irish ancestry and heritage a Happy St Patricks DayAnd to all the Irish people in my life, some of whom I am still very much in touch with and some I have lost touch with over time.  I hope wherever you are - your all well.
I made these Shamrock shaped cookies on Thursday evening to take into work on Friday for colleagues to enjoy.  Shamrock is St Patrick's symbol, he used it to explain the concept of Trinity. 
The Roll and Cut Sugar Cookies recipe for these comes from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, my only addition was smothering it in green sugar and using my shamrock cookie cutter.  The recipe from made a lot, three dozen in fact. I decided to drop some off at a friends house who has little ones.  She was very appreciative. They proved quite successful with my work colleagues too. 

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Sweet Potato (with Vegan Black Pudding)

I no longer have an allotment plot and presently I don't have much growing in my back garden plot at the moment, so I have decided to trial Riverford Organic Farmers Vegetable Box for the next couple of months.

The Riverford Vegetable Box scheme began when Guy Watson began delivering vegetableses locally to 30 friends in Devon. It now delivers around 47,000 boxes a week to homes around the UK.  Riverford delivers to most of England and South Wales.  

I chose the medium vegetable box which has eight organic varieties which was recommended for 2 - 3 people. This week the vegetable box contained: Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Fennel Bulb, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Courgettes, Onions, Oakleaf Lettuce and Tomatoes.  It was hard to know what to cook with first, I finally settled on the Purple Sprouting Broccoli - a seasonal star, I should know I used to grow some and the sweet potatoes.
I decided to make a Warm Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Sweet Potato Salad with Hazelnuts that were given to me by a friend. To make this warm salad more of a substantial dish, I finished it off with some sliced of vegetarian black pudding, but that is optional. This certainly made a welcome change from our boring lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad. 

I am sharing this Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Sweet Potato Salad with Soups, Salads and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen
Warm Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Sweet Potato Salad with Hazelnuts
Serves 3 - 4 as a starter; or 2 - 3 as a main dish
2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into bite size cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
250g purple sprouting broccoli
3 tablespoons hazelnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Sprouted alfalfa for garnishing
Optional: vegetarian black pudding
For the dressing
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200oc.
Toss the sweet potato cubes with the oil and spread onto a baking tray.  
Roast for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, gently stir and return it to the oven until soft and beginning to brown around the edges.
Steam the Purple Sprouting Broccoli as you would do asparagus, until tender.
Drain of excess liquid. Transfer to a bowl. 
Put all the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk well. 
Pour over the steamed purple sprouting broccoli and gently stir with a spatula to coat well.
To serve
Evenly distribute the Purple Sprouting Broccoli between the plates.
Then pile on the sweet potato cubes and sprinkle over the chopped hazelnuts.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Finish off with optional: alfalfa and cooked black pudding. 
If I have tempted you to try a Riverford Organic vegetable box, then please visit the Riverford websiteThe Riverford website is very extensive and has a FAQ to answer your questions in relation to having a vegetable box delivered to your front door.  For those of you who live overseas there may be something similar happening in your country; or there is always the farmers market. 

Riverford in South Wales is run by Jon and Janet Mier.  You will often find them and their knowledgeable staff at food events across Wales.  If you would like to keep up to date with news from Riverford South Wales, then follow them on Facebook and Twitter.  
Disclaimer: I was kindly given the medium vegetable box worth £14.85 by Riverford South Wales, in return for a plant based recipe using seasonal and organic vegetables from the box.  All views and opinions are my own. 

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Beetroot Feta Pate with Rainbow Carrot Crudites

For those of you who follow me on twitter, will have seen this Beetroot Pate early on in the year, as I made it for New Years Eve.  

Its also my new blog header to celebrate ten years of blogging.
I just haven't got round to sharing it on my blog for various reasons, but mostly being busy at work.  So here it is finally. 

Its very pleasing to the eye with the rainbow purple carrot crudites, posh word for raw veg for dipping. 

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Bit and Pieces in My March Kitchen

In my kitchen are lots of things that have come and gone. 
Firstly, I picked up these little spice jars: ginger, mace, cinnamon, mixed spice and cloves from a charity shop for 50p each purely for decorative purposes.  They are on the wooden floating shelf in my kitchen. 
I also picked up two larger jars for lentil and rice, though neither will be used but will probably hold ladle and wooden spoons 
I picked up these two ceramic cow jugs as I simply liked the look of them and they were on sale in one of the shops. D rolled his eyes at me as I unwrapped the paper from them, as if to say - really - why do you want those?!.  
Now for some staples in my home.  I tend to use either honey or golden syrup for oat flapjacks.  I had started buying golden syrup in plastic containers as it was cheaper, but have decided to go back to the tinned version as its recyclable.  I also wanted to point out that I had never noticed the dead lion covered in flies on the green and gold tin.  I wonder why?! 

Friday, 1 March 2019

Share with Us Your March 'Eat Your Green' Recipes

It is March and it's my turn to host this months Eat Your Greens challenge, but before I do I want to take the opportunity and say Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus - Happy Saint David's Day from Wales!

I also want to share a homemade vegan Welsh Samosa made with the addition of Laverbread, a Welsh seaweed ingredient descrived by Richard Burton as 'Welshman's caviar'.  You can find the recipe here

Now back to Eat Your Greens food blog challenge, to participate all you have to do is make either a vegan or vegetarian recipe with green vegetables or fruit on your blog.  Then copy the blog link to the comment section below.  The use of the #EatYourGreens logo is optional, but is appreciated.  The deadline is the 29th March and the Round up will be on the 31st March 2019. 

If your looking for some seasonal inspiration, then please do check out the Eat Your Greens Round Up hosted last month by my co-host The VegHog.  

For more details Follow this link on how to participate just please remember to link back to the host page (this page) and my co-host The VegHog.   

Hosting March My Legume Love Affair (MLLA) #126

As a vegetarian, I do love my lentils, legumes and pulses and my kitchen would not be without them.  

I say this as I am once again hosting My Legume Love Affair #126. Its one of my favourite food blog challenges and it still going strong, having began in 2008 by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook,  these days Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen continues to administrate on behalf of MLLA and is doing a stellar job, as well as playing the occasional hostess.

For those of you unfamiliar with MLLA, here is a brief overview.  MLLA is a diverse food blogging event, so any worldwide cuisine is welcome, as long as the main ingredient are legumes. This can be beans, lentils, pulses.  Peanuts are legumes, as are carob, fenugreek and tamarind. Foods made from legumes such as chickpea flour and tofu are permitted. Whatever your chosen legume is, please just ensure that it is the predominant ingredient of the recipe.  

-Entries should also be vegetarian or vegan.  
-Only one entry per blog.  If you have any older recipes that you would like to enter, please up-date and re-post them during the month of the challenge.  
-User of the MLLA logo is optional, but would be appreciated.  
-Finally please mention My Legume Love Affair in your blog post and link your post to this announcementSusan's blog and Lisa's MLLA information page as well.  

Please link your entry below.  I will post the MLLA Round up at the end of the month.