The US has some crazy ‘National Days’. Last month saw National Get Over It Day, National Earmuff Day and National Everything You Think is Wrong Day.
But I’m claiming today’s National Garlic Day for the rest of the world! Garlic enhances food… no, it enhances life! It tastes great and is good for your health too.
The UK is a nation of garlic lovers; we have an annual Garlic Festival in August down in the Isle of Wight where there’s a long tradition of growing the aromatic bulb.
Later on today I’ll be make a batch of wild garlic butter – we have a small patch of ramsons behind our house that is ready to pick!
National Garlic Day
Curated by H is for Home
This week we did a review of the book, Pie* by Genevieve Taylor. We couldn’t review the book properly without recreating one of the recipes within, now could we?
It’s currently ramson season – ramsons are also known as wild garlic – so we thought we’d try a timely dish. Blue cheese, leek and wild garlic quiche. Delicious hot, warm or cold with a little side salad of rocket, spinach and watercress.
*We have a copy of Pie to give away (sorry, UK only). Entry below the recipe*
Cakes & Bakes: wild garlic, leek and blue cheese quiche
- For the pastry
- 180g plain flour
- pinch salt
- 90g cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 3-4 tbs ice-cold water
- For the filling
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 leeks, washed & sliced
- 150g (about 4 handfuls) wild garlic
- 200g crème fraîche
- 2 eggs
- 100g blue cheese (I used Dolcelatte but Stilton, Roquefort, Gorgonzola etc would work just as well)
- salt & ground black pepper to taste
- Sift the flour & salt together into a medium-sized mixing bowl
- Add the cubed butter and use your fingertips and thumbs to rub the ingredients together until you have coarse crumbs
- Lift your hands out of the bowl as you rub to add air
- Add just enough cold water to bring the mixture together into clumps
- Tip the clumped crumbs on to a sheet of cling film and squeeze gently into a ball
- Wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºF/Gas mark 6
- Roll out the pastry and carefully line a quiche dish
- Bake blind for 10 minutes
- Put the olive oil into a large, deep frying pan set over a low heat and heat gently, then stir in the leeks
- Scrunch up a sheet of greaseproof paper and briefly rinse it under running water
- Shake off the excess water, then lay the dampened paper over the leeks, tucking it under snugly at the edges. This creates a steamy lid that will help the leeks soften without colouring
- Sweat the leeks gently for around 15 minutes or until they are soft and tender, lifting the paper to stir occasionally
- In a colander, rinse the wild garlic under a cold running tap
- Drain well, chop roughly and add to the leeks. Re-cover loosely with the paper and cook for a further 5-8 minutes or until the garlic has wilted
- Remove from the heat, discard the paper and spoon the softened filling into the pastry tart case and spread evenly. Set aside
- In a jug, whisk together the crème fraîche and eggs, seasoning well with salt & ground black pepper
- Slowly pour into the pastry tart case, allowing it to find its own level among the vegetables
- Cut the cheese into cubes and scatter over the quiche
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the filling is just set
- Carefully remove the quiche from the dish to a serving plate or wooden board
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The bright green, spear-shaped leaves of ramsons start poking through the earth in early spring. They’re often found in ancient woodland, thickly carpeting the floor and exuding a pungent, garlicky odour into the air.
There’s a small patch near our house from where we occasionally pick a handful leaves. After a quick rinse under a cold tap and a pat on some kitchen roll, a couple of thinly sliced leaves add an extra zing to a plain omelette or a warm, grilled cheese croissant.
Try whizzing half a pack of softened butter (125g) with about a dozen or so leaves in a mini food processor. It’s really quick and is perfect for adding to sauces, pan fried mushrooms or spreading on slices of a crusty loaf to make an alternative version of garlic bread!