A warm day and wonderful lunch was appreciated by we two ladies wot lunched, with yumminess in abundance. The grounds of the boutique hotel had a pooh stick worthy, trickling stream and cutesy bridge for same. Come to think of it babbling old birds as well as the brook. Our surrounds were strewn with flowering wild garlic, it wafted mildly and prettied immeasurably upon our eyes.
Ones chum is a chef, so naturally I became the sous/fall guy/gall and was despatched to procure the not so wild, more a tad miffed garlic (?) which I duly lobbed into my huge portmanteau.
We divvied up the spoils, fortuitously I had the presence of mind to remove it from my bag and left it to loll and rollick about in the boot. Gifting Madam Chef, with the only carrier bag.
Our good lady chef is being encouraged, if not crowbarred, into starting a blog. She later sent a photograph of her home-made fresh pasta, to which she added a sauce of tomato and wild garlic. Dunno where she found that, do you?
We drove back, top down, scarves wafting in the style of Thelma and Louise. Unknowingly leaving a garlicky vapour trail in our wake. Once home the boot opened and yawned with what seemed like the mass garlic breath of a 1000 camels. Hells teeth … It was enough to put you off your packet cheese and onion for life.
Time short, and much to her disapproval, my garlic was immediately lobbed into damp paper and then banished to a freezer far, far away. I had said that I intended to whizz it into a pack of butter, form it into a roll and freeze it (also great use for saddening sorrel). A little time spent making butters and similar are particularly easy way to freshen weekday staples and all manner of recipes in truth. This placated M’dam La Chef a little particularly as she was aware that we were travelling the following day.
So there endeth part one:- wild garlic procured.
It’s now I mention that this is mostly written whilst we are once again in sunnier climes. The day of lunch with top Tottie the chef, had perfectly divine alfresco weather, however, the following day, our travelling day, the temperature dropped fifteen degrees, it blew like a banshee, hammered with horizontal hail and driving rain. The day when the drain burst atop the kitchen by pure volume of water. The day of wailing Earl Grey (kitty) fractious of impending abandonment. The day of long drives and bag lugging in torrential rain with a less than zen Tea Boy. Oh you say? Yeah, we know that day. That (every expletive I can think of) day. We headed to foreign climes, having wrung out our wooly wumpers on the jet. Stress? Phah! It’s just so over rated though we were swiftly balmed.
The mind lurks forward as one evening we were presented an obligatory, pre-cursory, pre-course-ry bit of sorcery.
A twee little glass tile, a parsley leaf, twist of pimento, a flay of this that and absolutely none of the other… a white pepper waft, a twiddle of dry french toast adorn a plaque of well … something of a one bite wonder, for which I find I have a bit of a thing.
One is quite partial, to ones “Bouche” being whetted and amused. Invariably a bite sized bit of reasonably guilt free fabulousness.
In this instance, a plaque of cool tizzy tzatziki flavours. I’m now done with making a butter, we are going irrationally wild and green!
Drain about 250 g of goat curd/yoghurt/cheese. To a fine dice or grating of cucumber, add a fine flay of salt (discard pips) and leave the skin on or off as preferred. Place/ hang through a disposable cloth or muslin to remove excess juice (saving the liquid from both). I prefer to do this in separate cloths. Finely chop some fresh dill, wild garlic, (or just use finely grated, fresh from a bulb if the wild is out of reach or season) fresh mint, and the zest of a half decent unwaxed lemon. Combine the herbs, zest and cucumber with the yoghurty mix and leave them to get to know one another. Pop it into the refrigerator for as long as it takes the granita to set.
Season the combined liquids to suit your personal preference, I added a teaspoon of icing sugar and a jolly decent squeeze of lemon, the remaining zest and some bits of the herbage. Taste, taste, taste. Freeze the juice. Note: A thin flat dish works swiftly. Scrunch (swiftly beat it into submission) to form a granita (or break off shards if you’re a modernist) and return it equally swiftly to its frozen safe harbour.
Meanwhile cut suitable lengths of cucumber, place a small spoonful of the cheeky tzatziki and roll, secure with a spear of your choice.
Further adorn as you wish and top the little darlings with a final flourish of the granita just before serving.
Serving larger coils as a starter or smaller quantities to amuse and suit your needs.
Refreshing and quite summery in summary?
…. but in honesty it’s all Greek to me.