If you’ve been out walking in the last few weeks you might have been lucky enough to stumble on a patch of wonderful wild garlic, which appears for a woefully short season around now. This is one of the few ingredients which is truly seasonal, as you never see it in big supermarkets or shops and it only really pops up at farmers markets and good delis at this time of year.
But nothing beats picking great handfuls yourself, and if you can find a patch of your own, remember it, as it’s a creature of habit and doesn’t spread itself about much, so you’ll be able to go foraging year after year in the same spot.
Last weekend, with a houseful of kids, we picked a huge pile and made bottles of wild garlic oil, which keeps for ages in the fridge and is a perfect base for everything from stews to stir fries. This simple recipe is so good I had to include it before the season finishes!. Serves 8 for Sunday lunch
One good sized leg of lamb, about 2kg
Two large handfuls of wild garlic, plus extra for decorating
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
half a lemon
Whizz the handfuls of wild garlic with the olive oil until you have a lovely emerald green mush, and add the juice from the lemon
Brush the wild garlic oil libeterally all over the lamb, getting into all the crevices. Season well with salt and pepper.
Cook the lamb according to your taste – I like to give mine a blast at a high heat for half an hour, then turn it down for a bit, and finally take it out and wrap it up in foil and rest it for 20mins. But lamb is a very personal thing and while I like mine pinkish, you may not. So cook the lamb your way and serve with new potattoes, green beans and a few wild garlic leaves artfully sprinkled around to make it look pretty