What seasonal produce should you be eating this March?
At Create, we believe in cooking with seasonal and fresh ingredients. You’ll get extra flavour, extra crunch and extra juiciness in all your dishes. Stick to nature’s bounty and you’ll get the added benefit of nutrients tailor-made for the time of year.
For us, March means Wild Garlic.
Wild garlic is the perfect all-rounder. Versatile and delicious, it is available in some shape or form throughout the year, although it comes into its own during the spring months. Native to Britain, wild garlic goes by many names, such as Bear leek, Bear’s garlic, Broad-leaved garlic, Buckrams, Ramsons, Wood garlic.
Wild garlic tastes just like regular garlic but has a milder flavour than its cultivated cousin. Both the leaves and flowers are edible. Use the leaves a delicious addition to salads, finely chop them and add to butter or simply add them to a simple cheese sandwich. The flowers are a little sweeter than the leaves, with a peppery kick, and are fantastic as garnishes on salads, pasta or ever a beautifully roasted lamb (a spring classic).
Not only wild garlic delicious but it’s also seen as having health benefits including lowering cholesterol, win win we say!
Create’s Top Tips for Cooking with Wild Garlic
… or in this case, foraging! Wild garlic can be found in abundance across the UK and tends to grow in woods, often near or among patches of bluebells. Leaves appear in March and are best picked when young. The flowers emerge from April to June, indicating the end of the season, and can add a potent garlic punch to salads and sandwiches.
However, if you’re not able to get out to one of Britain’s beautiful woodlands, it is also a frequent staple of food markets at the peak of the season. Like any vegetables, choose wild garlic with bright, fresh leaves and avoid specimens that have wilted.
Once picked, asparagus rapidly lose their flavour and tenderness, so it really is worth eating them on the day you buy or even pick them. If that isn’t possible, you can get away with storing them for a few in the fridge with a damp paper towel wrapped around the bottom of the stalks.
Here is a collection on our favourite recipes, using this hero ingredient.
WILD GARLIC PESTO
Perfect for mixing into pastas, soups, creams or use to top hummus etc.
200g Wild garlic leaves
70g Grana padano
50g Evo oil
100g Rapessed oil
Maldon salt freshly ground black pepper to taste
Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanche the wild garlic leaves for 30 seconds
Drain leaves and then shock them in a bowl of icy water (this stops them losing their colour or any further cooking)
Remove from the water and squeeze out the excess water
Roast the almonds in the oven at 160’c turning every few minutes until golden. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool
Add all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until a chunky paste is achieved
Loosen with a little more rapeseed oil is needed
WILD GARLIC GRANITA
Serve with labneh or thick yoghurt as a garnish for spiced meat dishes such as dukkah spiced chicken wings etc.
260ml Sparkling Water
70g Caster Sugar
150g Wild Garlic
Add the sparkling water and sugar to a pan and bring to the boil to make a syrup
Allow the syrup to cool and then add the wild garlic leaves
Add to a food processor and blitz until smooth
Strain the liquid through a sieve or muslin cloth into a container
Place the container in the freezer and scrape a fork through it at regular intervals to create a granita
STEAMED SEA BASS
1 Whole Sea Bass, Cleaned
1tbs Rapeseed Oil
100g Wild Garlic Leaves
1 Whole Lemon Grass
1 Garlic Clove
1 Red Chilli
¼ bunch of Fresh Coriander
Maldon salt freshly ground black pepper
Set up a bamboo steamer over a pot of simmering water
Lightly score the skin roughly 2cm apart over the fillets on both sides of the seabass
Rub the oil over the whole fish and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper, making sure you get it into the scores in the skin
Smash the stick of lemon grass with the back of a knife or rolling pin to release its essential oils
Stuff the cavity of the fish with all the remaining ingredients excluding the wild garlic leaves)
Wrap the fish in the wild garlic leaves and then place in the steamer.
Cook the fish for 15-20 minutes
Serve with fragrant rice and sambal oelek
Let us know how it goes by tweeting @Createfood, we’d love to see what you make!