Spring must surely be in the air as Wild Garlic is starting to appear. For me it is one of the most easily identifiable and unmistakable foragable foods. Take a look at the Galloway Wild Food Website for further identification and distribution information. It's smell is so distinctive and the taste, particularly early in the season, very pungent. You may very well smell it in the woods before you spot its long lush leaves. Look for it in semi shaded moist woodland areas, river banks are a good place to start. Later in the season it bursts into bloom with white flowers which are also edible. Once you've found your 'wild garlic spot' you can return year on year and confidently identify it from the very first shoots of spring growth.
I've known of the existence of wild garlic for a long time. I even knew where it grew locally as I had smelt it when out running but its only in the past few years that I've embraced it fully in my cooking. Nothing tastes better than free food and you can substitute it in a variety of recipes that call for either garlic, onions, chives or spring onions. Today I've combined it with the wonderful flavours of an Arbroath Smokie and the two strong tastes work fantastically well together. For the uninitiated an Arbroath Smokie is a hot-smoked haddock. It has been officially recognised at the highest levels in Europe with PGI protection (Protected Geographical Indication), the same status afforded to products such as Champagne and Parma Ham. As such the name of 'Arbroath Smokie' can only be used to describe haddock, smoked in the traditional manner, within an eight kilometer radius of Arbroath.
Arbroath Smokie and Wild Garlic Pate
1 Arbroath Smokie
150g Cream Cheese
Zest and Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
Handful of Wild Garlic Leaves
Peel the skin from the smokie, split it in half and remove the main bone.
Flake the flesh into a bowl keeping your eyes peeled for any stray bones.
Stir through the cream cheese, lemon juice/zest and season with freshly ground black pepper.
Wash and finely shred the wild garlic leaves and add according to taste.
Serving Suggestion - we ate ours spread on homemade Melba Toast. It would also work well as a dip with crudities. Use milk or cream to thin it down if you want a runnier dipping consistency.
For more of my Wild Garlic Recipes take a look at
And for further Fishy Pate inspiration...