Seems no time at all since we last made our version of pesto using the most pungent of local wild herbs – wild garlic.
The woods have been a soft brown colour since the snow melted but over the last few days a few green spears have been pushing their way through the crumbly decaying leaves, signaling the start of another spring. Bluebell leaves and among them the first delicate garlic leaves with their astonishingly pungent smell. We picked for a few minutes until we had a large bunch in the bottom of a plastic bag. We went on and I gathered up some fallen dry branches for kindling and A shouldered a substantial birch log for the stove. On the way home Conker met one of his best friends, a beautiful Weimeramer bitch called Sable, and they chased each other and she rolled him over and much fun was had but not before he hared off after three deer he had suddenly spotted in a far corner of the field. So many deer around here.
At home A rinsed the wild garlic leaves and whizzed them up in a food processor with mature cheddar (to be English), parmesan (for the flavour), olive oil and almonds (we had no pine nuts but would have preferred local hazelnuts if we had had them). The flavour of garlic is fantastically strong but when let down as on pasta or mashed into a baked potato, very distinctive – and distinguished.
This picture is from last year when, without the snow and the cold of the last few weeks the garlic came out much earlier – this was shot on February 5th 2008! I had just bought a new Lensbaby lens which gives the mix of sharp and blurred areas.
Picture available from thePictureKitchen