When Wild Garlic (Ramson) appears you know that Springtime is finally on its way. The wonderfully mild garlic taste of cooked Wild Garlic makes this quiche recipe a great way to welcome back the return of the sun after many months of Winter. And a lovely and "green" way to celebrate Saint Patricks Day, of course.
The air is still rather chilly here, but the spring hardy leaves of the wild garlic are now to be found all along the woodland floor and even in our garden.. As a relative to the chive, wild garlic, as its name would indicate, has a lovely delicate garlic flavor and smell. It is ideal for using in the kitchen, tossed through a salad for some depth or as I have done today, in a quiche.
Pick the young leaves of the wild garlic, as they are more tender and fresher than the mature leaves. When out picking bring a basket as well as a damp tea towel or paper napkin to keep the leaves fresh, whilst you make your way home.
Wild Garlic Quiche
Ingredients for the Shortcrust Pastry
- 250 g plain (all purpose) flour
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 110 g butter, unsalted, cold, cubed
- 6 tbsp cold water
Ingredients for the Filling
- 100 g smoked bacon lardons, cooked (these are small chunks of diced bacon, if you cannot find them, buy thick slices of bacon and dice them yourself)
- 4 eggs (L), free-range or organic
- 200 g cream (such as single cream which has a fat content of 18% or use cream with a fat content up to 30% )
- 30-40 wild garlic leaves, washed, dried and chopped
- some sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preparation of the Shortcrust Pastry
- Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the cubes of butter.
- Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining.
- Using a knife, stir in just enough of the cold water to bind the dough together.
- Wrap the dough in food wrap and chill for 30 minutes before using.
- Alternatively using a food processor, put the flour, butter and salt in the food processor and pulse until the fat is rubbed into the flour.
- With the motor running, gradually add the water through the funnel until the dough comes together. Only add enough water to bind it and then stop.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350° F).
- Roll out the shortcrust pastry until it is slightly larger than a round 28 cm (11 in) tart pan with removable bottom OR use a rectangular 28 cm x 20 cm (11 in x 8 in) tart pan .
- Prick the pastry all over with a fork, line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill it with rice or dried beans.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the greaseproof paper and rice or beans, then return the tart to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Preparation of the Filling
- For the filling, arrange the lardons evenly in the bottom of the pastry case.
- Then spread the chopped wild garlic over the lardons.
- In a bowl, beat together the eggs and cream until well combined.
- Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Pour the egg mixture into the pastry case.
- Transfer the quiche to the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the egg mixture has set.
- Set the quiche aside to cool.
Wild garlic is very easy to identify, but you should still make sure to familiarize yourself with the plant using a good foraging book. They can be mixed up with Lily of the Valley, but are easy to distinguish by crushing a leaf with your fingers. The tell-tale odor should ensure you pick the right leaves. The leaves can be eaten raw or lightly cooked. Be sure to wash them well - some recipes also call for blanching the leaves for a few minutes in boiling water. Wild garlic can be stirred into risottos or omelettes, added to soups or used in sauces to accompany meat and fish.
Wether you are celebrating Saint Patrick´s Day today – or whether you are just looking for something seasonal and „green“ to enjoy today, this light, springtime Wild Garlic Quiche of mine, will be just the recipe to prepare.