The foraging season has begun, at last! It is still cold here, with temperatures not going above 4 degrees, but the spring hardy leaves of the Ramson, or Wild Garlic are now to be found all along the woodland floor. As a relative to the chive, wild garlic, as its name would indicate has a lovely delicate garlic flavor and smell. It is ideal for using in the kitchen, tossed through a salad for some depth or as I’ve done, in a quiche.
Pick the young leaves of the Ramson, as they are more tender and fresher than the mature leaves. When out picking bring a basket or plastic container with a damp tea towel or paper napkin to keep the leaves fresh, whist you make your way home.
Wild Garlic is very easy to identify, but do familiarise yourself with the plant using a good foraging book. They can be mixed up with Lily of the Valley, but are easy to distinguish by crushing a leaf with your fingers, if it smells like garlic, it is garlic!
360g of organic strong white flour
200g cold butter
6 tbsp cold water
pinch of salt
5 large free range eggs
200g cottage cheese
100-200g wild smoked salmon
30-40 freshly picked wild garlic leaves
3 tbsp organic single cream
a sprinkling of mature cheddar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
Add flour and butter to a mixing bowl, using a knife cut the butter into the flour. Then using your fingertips rub in the butter until all the large lumps are gone. Add the salt and water, then quickly kneed the dough, just until it hangs together.
Pop in the fridge for an hour to chill.
Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface to fit a 28 cm buttered quiche tin. Blind bake the crust at 220°c/fan 200°c/gas 7, for 15 min.
Meanwhile make the filling, by beating the eggs with the salt, pepper, nutmeg and cream. Add the cottage cheese, sliced salmon and chopped ramsons and mix.
Pour the filling into the pastry case and sprinkle with a little mature cheddar on top. Bake at 220°c/fan 200°c/gas 7, for 35-40 min.
Serve with a dressing of natural yoghurt and chopped wild garlic, salt and pepper.