Make the best of the first wild green plants of spring... on a plate
The first green vegetable on the wild food forager's calendar is wild garlic.
As Morning News Country reported recently, in parts of the South West this fleshy-leaved ground-covering plant, is already showing itself in frost-free areas of woodland and canny chefs are already making use of it.
Matt Buzzo, chef proprietor of the Waterside Bistro and New Walk Brasserie, both in Totnes, was one of the first out of the blocks. He is serving Devon trout fillet wrapped in cured ham with a wild garlic salsa verde in his New Walk Brasserie on The Plains.
He says: "Salsa werde, or as you might say in English, green sauce, is delicious and a great accompaniment to a wide variety of foods. It is perfect with grilled fish or chicken, as a salad dressing or pasta sauce. When freshly made and really well emulsified (so it goes thick and unctuous like mayonnaise) it is a wicked dip for chunky chips. At New Walk Brasserie I like to serve it with pan fried fillet of Devon trout wrapped in Serrano ham (pictured left).
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"Traditional recipes usually use tender green herbs like mint, basil and parsley, but I love to make it with wild garlic, also called 'ransoms'. Here in Devon at this time of year it is exciting to see their first green shoots appearing, as it is among the earliest of the free foraged foods of the year, and I find it a joy to get out in the fresh air down by the stream and pick some."