One of the things I have adored most about my new countryside home has been learning all the insider village knowledge on all that can be foraged and eaten from our local hedgerows. Secret sloes, bountiful brambles, perfumed elderflower heads – all just waiting to be picked and cooked. This time of year, the smell of wild garlic pervades the air and as I walk past our village church just after six in the morning with our pup Monty, I feel I must stop and pick it whilst it’s still there. That’s if I haven’t been beaten to it by any of the others villagers!
Wild Garlic Hollandaise
3 egg yolks (large)
juice of half a lemon
a good pinch of salt
50g melted butter
Into a blender, place the egg yolks and lemon juice with a pinch of salt. Turn on the blender and pulse until they have all combined. Now chop the wild garlic and add to the blender, turning it on again just to whizz up the leaves into the egg yolk mixture.
In a pan melt the butter gently and when it is melted and beginning to foam, turn your blender on (with the stopper out so that you can add the butter) and very slowly pour in the butter onto the egg and garlic mixture. Do be careful when you are doing this – added too quickly and you could risk a green spotted ceiling. I speak from experience on this one! Let the blender run until the mixture thickens and there you have it, wild garlic hollandaise.
I love to pour mine over a bundle of asparagus wrapped in parma ham and roasted for 8 minutes or so. Served with a poached egg or two on top, it makes the perfect spring lunch or light supper.
As with all foraging, do make sure you know what you are picking. Wild garlic has a white flower and long lush leaves that have a strong fragrance of garlic or onions when crushed between your fingers. If in doubt, consult a foraging website or book to be sure you have picked the correct plant before cooking and eating.