Jack by the Hedge
May 7, 2013
Posted in View from the table
Wild garlic is all over the place and by that I mean all over the food blog world, food magazines, TV and radio programmes. It’s not, however, all over the place growing. I found, and cooked wild garlic in Edinburgh recently and it was a revelation, such a beautiful flavour. I’ve been on walks before and smelled its tell-tale pungent, feral scent but since I have been actively looking for it it’s hidden itself well.
I put out a plea for this elusive plant and although the wild garlic evaded me I made a happy new discovery – Jack by the Hedge. This plant is also known as wild mustard, mustard garlic and poor man’s mustard. Despite this last humble name it’s really rather good.
I’m enamoured by the old English folk name Jack by the Hedge and a new fan of the subtle garlic / mustard taste of the leaves and young flowers. It’s very common and as the name would suggest it is found in hedgerows. I’ve also come across it in woodland and close to river banks too. You can find out more about this great foraging prize here.
My lovely friend Donna arrived with an armful of this new found ingredient and like the Scottish wild garlic I made pesto with it. I made it with walnuts, strong cheddar and rapeseed oil to use all ingredients that are grown or produced in Britain, for no other reason than I thought that would be a pretty cool thing to do.
And just like buses, once I’d discovered the abundant Jack by the Hedge Lola declared that she had wild garlic growing in her garden. She arrived on Sunday with an armful complete with roots still attached. I made haste and planted it. It’s looking good. Search over.
Mustard Garlic and Walnut Pesto
|Prep time||30 minutes|
What you will need
- 1 Large bunch mustard garlic or wild garlic (finely chopped)
- 100g walnuts (finely chopped)
- 100g strong cheddar cheese (finely grated)
- 2 fat garlic cloves (chopped)
- 100ml rapeseed oil
- splash fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper
|Step 1||In a pestle and mortar bash up the mustard garlic or wild garlic|
|Step 2||Add the chopped walnuts and garlic and keep bashing|
|Step 3||Pour in the oil|
|Step 4||Season and add a squeeze of lemon juice if required|
I’m adding this link to the Cooking with Herbs bloggers challenge at the lovely Lavender and Lovage blog