A Wild Garlic Hunt
Well I have finished my job on the Emerald Isle and am off to Dorset to check in with the folks and see if I can catch the final days of one of my favourite foraged treats; wild garlic.
Truffle and I ( Truffle being my sister’s dog) both had our noses stuck out the car window as we beetled along the narrow country lanes. You can smell it before you see it and although we have not yet taught her to alert us to its presence, I am ever the optimist. The month of June is a little late in the year to be picking wild garlic, usually the little white flowers are out and the leaves are not quite so tender as they once were. Determined at least to try and find some I yelled excitedly to “stop the car”! as I caught a waft of that sweet smelling delicacy. There, beneath the ancient woodlands, Henry VIII ‘s old hunting grounds no less, there lay a patch of edible green shoots and white flowers. I leapt out the car and began my picking. Truffle took one sniff at what I was paying my attentions to and darted off into the woods – she clearly did not share my enthusiasm.
A basketful later I called the dog so we could take this bounty back home and make a breakfast feast of wild garlic and scrambled eggs. Before reluctantly jumping back into the car she reminded me of one of the rules of harvesting wild food by peeing on the patch I had just taken from – always wash thoroughly before use.
Dorset Wild Garlic with Scrambled Eggs
Ingredients (serves 4 hungry people)
A very well washed and drained bunch of wild garlic
8 free range chicken eggs
Bread for toast
A good knob of butter.
A splash of olive oil
Roughly chop the wild garlic into 2 inch pieces and wilt in a frying pan with a splash of olive oil- it will only take about one minute, season with salt and pepper. Scoop the leaves out onto a warm plate, pouring away any excess liquid (or better still reserve the liquid and add it to an appropriate soup or risotto ) while you scramble the eggs. To do this I always melt a little butter in the pan then pour in the lightly beaten eggs and stir gently with a flat wooden spoon over a low to medium heat. Before the eggs look fully cooked take off the heat and fold in the wilted wild garlic. Serve on buttered toast.
It is hard to leave the comforts of home but with my adieus said I am now heading north ( having packed my rain coat) to take a trip to the bonnie hills of Scotland..