They say that June is the month for brides. Is that because the weather should be pleasant and safe for those all important photographs? I like to think it is the wedding month because the countryside is so white and blooming. Every hedgerow decked out in lacey finery, from cow parsley to chickweed, hawthorn to elderflower.
Not only are these goodies a delight to the eyes, they also asault the nostrils with their heavenly armomas, taking us from the mundane everyday worries into memories and imaginings. I remember elderflower fizz, bunches of chickweed picked by a pretty little girl many years ago on this same lane and the one that touches me most of all is the wild garlic.
Ramsons with their sparky white flower tops like fireworks in the woodland shade. Their scent is pungent and takes me back to my teenage years when I used to walk down a similar lane in another time. After school I would head for the local stables to muck out and groom the horses, getting there meant a long walk down the steep lane. At this time of year the lane was bursting with wild garlic and the smell was heady and strong. It made you hungry for the supper that was many hours away. The joy of those days, the pleasure of time spent with horses comes back to me when I see and smell wild garlic even now after all those years.
Wild Garlic (or ramsons) is easy to use and has a wonderful flavour, garlic but not as harsh as our usual bulb varieties. There is a tenderness to the taste but still the power and punch one would expect with that all important name.
I use it in lots of ways, but making a simple pesto is one that I do every year because I can store it in the freezer and enjoy the taste of spring up to three months later when the star like flowers are but a memory.
I love this wild garlic pesto on plain pasta, it tempts the taste buds just where you want it. Mix it through or scoop it on to a selected forkful of al dente bliss. Served with a simple pork chop and a squeeze of lemon juice and you have a supper dish that is both easy to create and a delight on the senses.
An everyday feast that takes just a few minutes to make but gives joy in each mouthful. Eat slowly and savour the moment.
Wild Garlic Pesto
- 50 g/2oz Wild Garlic Ramsons leaves chopped
- 50 g/2oz Almonds chopped
- 50 g/2oz parmesan cheese grated
- Juice and grated rind of half a lemon
- 100 ml/3 1/2 fl oz olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Whizz together all of the above ingredients in a food processor and scrape down the edges before the final whizz to make sure everything is well combined.
- Spoon into a sterilised jar and tap on the table to push out air bubbles before spooning on a little olive oil to cover and seal the pesto.
- Store covered in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer (make sure there is at least 1cm headroom in jar for expansion) for up to 3 months.