Going "WILD" For Wild Garlic

Last year when the lovely season of the Wild Garlic came upon us, I didn’t actually find any until, sadly, the end of the season.  I tried my best with what I did find but it had grown a bit too far on and the true flavour wasn’t there anymore.
  However, this year I found a great spot, practically on my doorstep! I was thrilled as you can imagine.
  However it has come to that time of the year where it has either gone, grown too big or has overgrown weeds over it.  I almost feel quite sad as there’s so much you can do with Wild Garlic, I absolutely LOVE its unique flavour and the prettiness of the flower buds. So now it is fizzling away till next year, if you can get hold of some still around. Do try a pesto with it. It will keep in the fridge for a few weeks at least, or even do a pickle/vinegar?
  I realise that many people will have done this with Wild garlic and rightly so as we do it with other leftover herbs, so why not this? 
  Here is just a couple of things that I did with mine this year.  I do plan another recipe if my last batch lasts! 

Wild Garlic Pistachio Pesto:
(Makes 1 small Jar):

One thing I must add about this recipe is that pretty much whenever I do pestos’s I always like to use either pistachios or cashew nuts rather than Pine nuts. I find the pine nuts are more bitter, but that’s just my preference.


(These ingredients depend on the size of your jar and also your taste) – Be as Flexible as you want with it! 

–  50g of Wild Garlic Leaves
–  20g of Pistachio nuts (shelled )
–  20g of Parmesan Cheese
–  Sprinkling of Pink sea salt (any good sea salt will do) and cracked black Pepper
–  1 Tbsp of Fresh lemon juice
–  2 Tbsp of Rapeseed oil ( olive oil can be bitter )

– Simply Place all ingredients into a Blender/Processor and Blitz! Add extra seasoning, oil or cheese if you need to.

This Pesto is great in all sorts of recipes, the list is endless! Once you have done this, you will never turn back.

And the result of this pesto? An obvious choice to pair with Pasta but this dish is what I keep devouring myself with lately. I am eating bucket loads of it as I love it! It’s such a quick Pasta dish to rustle up when you’ve had a busy day and can kick back with a large Glass of Wine. Perfetto!

Creamy Tagliatelle with Chicken, Mushrooms and Wild Garlic pesto:

(Serves approximately 1-2 people)


–  Approximately 200g of Tagliatelle Pasta
–  1 Tbsp of Rapeseed oil (no more as there is oil in the pesto)
–  2 Spring Onions finely chopped
–  1/4 of Leek finely sliced
–  3-4 Chestnut mushrooms sliced
–  100-150g of Cooked Roast chicken shredded 
–  1/2 chicken stock cube crumbled into sauce
–  1 Tbsp of the Wild Garlic pistachio Pesto (as above ) more if you like it to be more of a garlic Flavour.
– A Good Splash of Dry White Wine (100ml)
–  150ml of Double cream


–  Cook the Tagliatelle to packet instructions.

–  Fry off the leeks and mushrooms until starting to soften.

– Add the Shredded Chicken, Spring Onion and chicken stock and cook for a further couple of minutes. 

– Add the Pesto, coating all of the mixture.

– Pour in the Wine, reduce a little and then add the cream. 

–  Drain the Pasta but use maybe 2 Tbsp of pasta water into the sauce. Place Pasta into the sauce and serve into warm bowls.

Finally, You may recall my recipe for St George’s Day when I made the Wild Garlic and fennel bread. 
 That bread actually lasted me a full week, which was great. They were some leftover and I didn’t have much room in the freezer so I decided to do a Panzanella, which is a traditional Tuscan summer salad.  There have been many different versions of this and mine isn’t very traditional, I added meat, mine was more dry and I added Wild Garlic, a kind of Italy meets Leicestershire’s Hedgerows! However it was a very lovely Lunch the day I made it.

Panzanella with Salami and Wild Garlic:


(Approximately for 2 people)

–  A couple of slices of Wild garlic and fennel bread, torn into chunks for croutons
–  A handful Selection of Peppery Salad leaves (Rocket, Mizuna, Red Chard etc…)
–  1 Yellow Bell Pepper 
– 1 Red Bell Pepper
–  120g of Ripened well baby plum tomatoes
–  1-2 Tbsp of baby capers from a Jar 
–  Few slices of Italian Salami torn into pieces 
–  3-4 Basil leaves torn
–  1 Tbsp of Good quality Extra Virgin Olive oil
–  10 Wild Garlic flower Buds (already started opening) 
–  Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to season


–  Take your Bell peppers and either Roast in the oven until skins are starting to turn black or Burn onto a Gas flame (If confident) *Note, as I am a qualified and trained chef, I have done this many a time*

– Once black, peel off the skins revealing a lovely soft sweet flesh and slice lengthways 

–  Coat the Bread for croutons in a little Sea salt, Black Pepper and olive oil and either pop in a dry frying pan to toast or again you could place in the oven.

–  Arrange all of the ingredients in a bowl, drizzle with Olive oil and Serve. A simple, But impressive salad.

Ragu Tagliatelle and National Butchers Week

Between The 4th and 10th of March was National Butchers week.  I am such  a Lover and very Passionate about using our Local shops and keeping that Tradition going in the Uk.  I.E Keep our Butchers, Grocers, Bakers going!! etc etc… 
  Anyway…So What could I produce from my local Butcher, Something I hadn’t ever done before.  My first thought into my mind was a traditional Ragu.  Now I know that doesn’t sound very adventurous but in fact, In the Past I had cooked a ragu sauce before but not a “PROPER” one.  One where if Antonio Carluccio Or Giorgio Locatelli walked into my kitchen, they would be proud! 
 So I thought of these two great Chefs and wondered what their take on a “Ragu” was.  Well I found that They had quite different recipes and of course I couldn’t decide which to use? “Right then”, I said to my Partner.  “I do My own.”  “Actually no, I will do Both theirs and a few of my added touches in with it.”  As Carluccio does more of a tomato based with no herbs and pancetta.  Whereas Locatelli Uses more in depth ingredients such as more Red wine and hardy herbs.  Now at the time, I thought I was doing the right thing, all getting excited but unbeknown to myself, I was doing what I have still always done with the Ragu and complicating it…

  My Partner loved the outcome, but For me I hadn’t achieved my goal.  But as all us Chefs/Cooks will know,  sometimes Recipes take time… Anyway Well here Is the Recipe that I used and the outcome.  

Ragu Tagliatelle ( Thanks to Antonio Carluccio and Giorgio Locatelli) 


250g of Pork mince
250g of Beef mince
100g of Chicken Livers
Olive Oil
1 Carrot finely diced
1 Celery stick finely diced
2 cloves of Garlic finely chopped
very small sprigs of Rosemary , Sage and Thyme tied together,
150 ml of  white wine (pinot grigio)
1/2 a bottle of red wine ( I used a good chianti) 
2 tablespoons of tomato puree/paste
500ml of very good Organic Passata
Very small amount of chicken stock just added when
the sauce was getting dry.
Seasoning if needed.
Parmesan for serving.
Tagliatelle pasta (I used dried this time “shock horror”! next time I will do fresh) !


Heat up your pan with the Olive oil and Fry off the Onions, Celery, Carrot and Garlic for roughly 10 mins.  Then Add the Meat, not livers yet though, and cook until browned.  Add the white wine so that the alcohol evaporates into the meat. Add 250 ml of Red wine, The tomato paste and passata and simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours. However long you do it for, add the chicken livers half an hour before the finish time and add the stock and rest of red wine if the sauce becomes dry. My Dish took 3 hours but that’s probably due to my sciatica! 
 Before the sauce is almost ready, cook the pasta for no more than 10 minutes, you need it “Al dente” (bit of a bite still to it).  Drain the pasta off add a little olive oil to coat.  Then I just took some of the sauce into another frying pan and added the right amount of pasta to it to coat ( as you can see from the pictures ), as this depends on how many people, how much people like to eat etc… you know how it is people?! 

So My outcome to this dish is that I felt I over complicated it. My Partner loved it, I know it needs working on.  But I have learnt from my mistake and will do Both their versions again and adapt to what I like I feel my taste is. However one thing I do know is that I will never go back to what I did before.  Thank you to, two, Great Italian Chefs.