If you go down to the woods today or any day in the next week or so, you should find swathes of wild garlic. Right now is the time to pick it, while the leaves are young and at their most tender for cooking.
Although it looks more beautiful later on, when the small white flowers pierce out from amongst the lush greenery, it becomes a little more fibrous to eat.
Even if you aren’t able to go foraging for it yourself in the woods, this delicate wild plant has now become available in farmers’ markets and specialist shops, so it’s worth seeking it out to enjoy it during the short season. Although called ‘garlic’, its flavour is more like a gentle spring onion and when cooked, it is only softly pungent and enhances other flavours, rather than overpowering them.
Supplemented with a few spinach leaves from my garden (still going strong despite being overwintered), all I needed were fresh eggs, a spoonful of ricotta and fresh herbs to make the perfect early spring dish.
Wild garlic and spinach frittata with herbs and ricotta
A handful of wild garlic leaves, washed
A handful of spinach leaves, washed
1 tbsp mixed, chopped parsley and marjoram
100g fresh ricotta, crumbled into chunks
15g unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
You will need a small frying pan that is ovenproof.
Turn on the grill to a medium setting.
Heat a little oil in a separate saucepan and add the garlic and spinach leaves and a little salt. Cover and cook for a minute or so until wilted and soft. Drain to remove any excess liquid.
Roughly chop the wilted leaves and put in a bowl with the herbs and ricotta.
Crack in the eggs and mix a little. Season well.
Get your small frying pan hot and melt the butter in it. Pour in the mixture and cook for about 5 minutes, until the bottom has set, then put the pan under the grill for the top to cook. This should take up to 12 minutes, but keep testing it by pressing the middle gently. It should feel just firm.