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Spring Alchemy



March welcomes the beginning of wild garlic season.


Our spring equinox was spent outdoors, celebrating the arrival of new beginnings and the blue skies and clement weather it brought with it.


This far up North, I've noticed that nature take a little longer to awaken than in the southern parts of the UK; trees still yet to bloom, daffodils just starting to arrive and wild garlic still sparse.


I love how nature always offers us an opportunity to connect. Foods that grow at spring are made at this time because us humans need it. Nettles reduce hay fever symptoms and can help soothe dry skin from the fluctuating climate, and wild garlic is a tonic for digestive issues as our diet transitions from heavy winter foods to lighter spring meals.



In woodlands


Also known as Ramsons, Bear leek and Buckrams, wild garlic has a long season from March to June. Leaves appearing in woodlands mid-late march and the flowers emerging in April-June giving you the opportunity to forage multiple times and create new dishes.


Look for:

- Waxy spear tipped leaves.

- When picked they will release gentle aromatics of garlic and onion (later in the season you'll be able to smell it before you see it)

- Grows in dense groups


Remember to forage responsibly by taking the leaves rather than the bulb and making sure to harvest from various spots rather than leaving one area bare.


Please make sure to do your own research on foraging wild garlic as there are lookalikes that are toxic.


Alchemy

Wild garlic is a true celebration that spring is arriving and by ingesting it awakens the body to this new seasonal energy.


Make:

- Pesto

- Infused pasta

- Bread

- Pies

- Oils


As dairy is used in the celebration of the spring equinox, we decided to infuse our wild garlic in homemade butter and make some delicious garlic cheese pizzas. If you want to get your milkmaid on and endeavour to make your own wild garlic butter, you'll find our recipe below.


Enjoy!



Wild Garlic Butter


You'll need

- Double cream (we used 600ml)

- 2 handfuls of wild garlic

- Salt - we use Maldon sea salt flakes

- Ice

- A stand mixer or electric whisk

- 3 large bowls

- Spatula and fork

- Cling film, parchment paper or beeswax wraps


This recipe can also be made me store bought butter, just make sure its room temperature and follow steps 6-12.



  1. Begin by pouring cream into a large mixing bowl or your stand mixing bowl

  2. Start on a low setting and begin to whisk going up to a medium setting once formed.

  3. Keep on eye on the mixer, stopping occasionally to wipe down the sides of the bowl.

  4. You'll notice the cream begin to thicken, keep going until the liquid begins to resemble scrambled eggs and you start to see liquid form at the bottom of the bowl. Mix for another 30-60 seconds until it begins to form more of a buttery texture.

  5. Use a spatula to separate the liquid and solids and please the solid butter into a clean bowl. Keep the liquid as this is buttermilk and can be used in other recipes such as soda bread.


6. Prepare a bowl with cold water and ice.

7. To keep the butter fresh, pull off small balls of butter, give it a squeeze to remove any excess buttermilk and wash in the ice bath and add to a clean bowl.

8. To keep the butter fresh, pull off small balls of butter, give it a squeeze to remove any excess buttermilk and wash in the ice bath and add to a clean bowl.

9. Finely chop your wild garlic.

10. Start to mash the butter with the back of a fork to flatten and spring a good pinch of salt and the wild garlic and blend into the butter. (depending on your taste, start with half of the wild garlic, taste and add more for a strong flavour).

11. Once incorporated and you're happy with the flavour, use straight away or if storing, pull out your wrap of choice and place the butter onto and begin to roll the wrap so that the butter forms into a cylinder. Remember to roll the edges tight.

12. Place in fridge or in the freezer and use as needed.




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