We spent a sunny weekend at WOWO, the campsite of Waspbourne Manor Farm in East Sussex. During our visit, the people running the campsite generously cooked up a wild garlic soup to share with the campers, and this inspired me to cook up some ideas of my own.
A large patch of wild garlic leaves grows in the shady areas under the trees by the Tipi trail. You can smell the garlic as you approach; it grows in such abundance that we were allowed to gather as much as we wanted. It is the leaves that you cook with, treating them as you would spinach or as a strong salad leaf.
I took the toddlers and a carrier bag and collected enough for two ‘made up on the spot’ recipes. As Matthew set the fire, I washed and chopped a good handful of wild garlic leaves and some flat-leaf parsley. I then mashed it up with a fork along with a pinch of sea salt, a knob of butter and some lemon juice.
Once the fire was going I toasted some slices of home-made bread that I sprayed with olive oil. Once they were toasted on both sides, I rubbed in the wild garlic leaf mixture and ate it without ceremony; Wild Garlic bread.
Sausage stew with wild garlic leaves for 4
The main course was a sausage stew with wilted garlic leaves. I had some Italian style sausages from Tablehurst Farm and decided to stew them rather than grill them over the campfire. They are meatier than British bangers and so stew well without falling to bits. I had a loaf of bread I made at home; I sprayed it with olive oil and toasted it over the fire. The garlic leaves give a fresh garlicky taste, not harsh at all and barely need cooking.
8 decent Italian or Toulouse sausages
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 sprig of rosemary
1 onion, chopped
Salt and black pepper
2 red peppers
2 handfuls of freshly picked wild garlic leaves, washed
Roast the red peppers on the campfire until they are blackened, then skin and chop them. Meanwhile, heat the oil and gently cook the onion, then add the sausages and rosemary and fry for a minute or two before adding the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and simmer covered until the sausages are cooked through. You may need to add some water if your stew looks like it may stick. Don’t forget to add the peppers when they are done. Take the stew off the heat and stir in the leaves, they will wilt very quickly. One last taste for seasoning and serve with toasted bread, pasta or new potatoes.
Tags: foraging, sausages, stew, one-pot meals,
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