I get ridiculously excited by a bit of free food. It’s not just the obvious value for no money, it’s the incredible kick I get from finding sustenance in the wild. OK, suburban Cork is hardly ‘the wild’ but still, the satisfaction is immense.
This is three-cornered leek garlic (Allium triquetum). It’s not exactly wild garlic (Allium ursinum) but it’s a close cousin and we are about to pretend that it is the real thing because I haven’t found any truly wild garlic yet. I may need to go beyond the city boundary for that. 🙂
The wilder, more elusive, leaf is broader and has a finer flavour but this one works well for me. Foragers can’t be choosers. I figured out last year that the quantity of leaves I can hold in a bunch in one hand makes one jar of pesto. It’s a thing ordained by nature.
An Imprecise Recipe.
Washed and dry the leaves. Put some pine nuts into your pine nut mashing machine. I hope you have a good one, mine is terrific.
I’m estimating 30 grammes or so. Again, it’s a handful.
Taking photos while you’re cooking can get very distracting.
Chop, chop and chop.
Scrape the chopped garlic and mashed pine nuts into a bowl.
Add a handful ( around 80-100g) of finely grated vintage cheddar. I’ve used parmesan or grana padano before but the cheddar gave the best results. It stands up to the garlic and gives something of a Tayto Cheese and Onion vibe.
More precise measurements: this much sugar,
and this much salt,
and several healthy glugs of extra virgin olive oil.
Mix. Taste. Adjust salt and sugar to your taste.
Next, drain a tin of butter beans and spill them unto your chopping board.
Add a pinch of salt and some olive oil and mash some more.
Find a jar of chilli paste. You can see where I’m going with this, right?
Lá fhéile Pádraig shona daoibh.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day.