In Season From Early Spring, Wild Garlic Can Be Found On River Banks And Near Water Across The British Countryside.
When picking make sure not to take more than you need, not to take the whole crop (leave some to come back next year!) and to cut with scissors. Also make sure to wash thoroughly when you get home!
With a lovely flavour, I love to incorporate it into lots of dishes throughout Spring. Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting some recipes, starting with this great twist on the classic chicken filo pie.
Chicken & wild garlic filo pie
1 small chicken
80g wild garlic, washed
100g spinach, washed
1 leek, washed, trimmed and cut into 1cm chunks
200g cheese of your choice, I like emmental, cheddar or manchego, or a mix, cut into cubes
1 lemon zest
10 sheets of filo pastry
Poach the chicken gently for 1.5 hours until cooked through. Take out of the water and rest until cool. When cold enough to handle, strip the meat off the chicken and tear into decent chunks.
Measure out 300ml the water the chicken cooked in, place in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the wild garlic and spinach for 30 seconds, remove from the heat and blend until smooth.
Place a saucepan on a medium heat and add the olive oil and leeks, sweat gently for 6-8 minutes until soft. Add the butter and allow to melt before adding the flour, stir until a thick paste has formed. Add the wild garlic stock and stir until smooth and thick.
Remove from the heat and add the cream and cheese. Stir through the chicken, lemon zest, juice and season generously.
Heat oven to 180C
Melt the rest of the butter. In a large casserole dish place 3 filo sheets, brushing the melted butter on each side. Spread over half of the chicken mixture and top with another three buttered sheets of filo. Top with the rest of the chicken and then top with the final four sheets of filo, scrunching them up for texture. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, you may need to cover the top with foil for the last 15 minutes to stop it from getting too brown.
Serve with a divine green salad and enjoy!