Spring arrived in such a glorious rush this year that I got rather over-excited on my first foraging trip. Last year I described how the appearance of wild garlic on the banks of the stream near our house is a sure sign of the changing season. I was so enthused by it on Saturday that I gathered almost a whole carrier bag full of leaves. It’s delicious stuff but pungent: a little goes a long way and I was wondering what I could do with so much.
The River Cottage website had the solution: wild garlic pesto. This is fabulous stuff and I urge you to make some as soon as you possibly can. The original recipe called for 50g of shallot or leek; having neither, I put in a small amount of red onion and might leave it out altogether next time. For the cheese, I used a mixture of hard goat’s cheese and Parmesan.
Other signs of spring down by the stream are the celandines, which have been out for a week or so, and the wood anemones.
Wood anenomes are among my very favourites: I love the way their delicate flowers scatter themselves through the undergrowth. They only come out fully in the sun, though. On a cloudy day they fold in on themselves, and who can blame them – I know I feel the same. As far as humans are concerned, though, I’m fairly sure that some of my foraged pesto stirred through hot pasta will restore our spirits if the temperatures continue to dip this week.