Outdoor activities with a healthy dose of curiosity, brought to you by Laure Latham
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Tender and light, wild garlic (ransoms) and corn griddle cakes are filled with the sweetness of corn and the promise of spring foraging walks in the British countryside. Wild garlic is one of the best harvests of spring and is incredible versatile, all the plant parts (stalks, leaves, flower) being edible. Each time, I experiment with new recipes and the latest batch was no different. In the past, I’ve already tried wild garlic bread, wild garlic pizza and wild garlic and salmon pies. For a healthy family dinner, I wanted to find a wild garlic vegetarian recipe.
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After browsing through my favorite vegetarian cookbook, Everyday Greens, I found the perfect recipe, but it didn’t use wild garlic at all and featured a few ingredients I didn’t have at home. Never mind, I adapted the recipe. Luckily, wild garlic coincides with the earliest ears of corn on my farmers market, so I was able to serve these small pancakes as sides with chicken tinga, a recipe from the excellent cookbook, Eat Mexico: Recipes from Mexico City’s Streets, Markets & Fondas.
Of course, as this is a foraging recipe, it all started on a countryside path in the Lake District. We were away church camping with the kids when I spotted miles of wild garlic flowers along the trail and could not resist. Ten minutes later, I had a bag full of wild garlic to take home.
Once at home, I kept it in the fridge during a week (didn’t have time to get to it sooner), then washed it thoroughly, removing all wilted parts or foreign plants (there’s always a few of those). I chopped up the ransoms and shaved the ears of fresh corn, before cooking them together.
Greens’ recipe called for cheddar and parmesan, but one of my daughters positively hates parmesan so that was out. On the other hand, I had bought a slice of Wookey Hole cheddar in the Lake District and it looked perfect for the job. Knowing that this cheese is aged in real (rock) caves made it all the more special, so it became part of the recipe and I grated it by hand.
After I added the cooked corn and garlic to the griddle cake mixture, it was ready to cook on an actual griddle pan and it was almost dinner time.
I cooked the cakes by 3s and 4s and noticed they didn’t spread a lot, but enough that I left an inch between all the spoonfuls. After just a couple of minutes, they were ready to flip.
Together with the chicken tinga, it was delicious and really paired well with the smokiness of the chipotle and the acidity of tomatoes in the Mexican recipe.