I've been waiting for what feels like forever to make a recipe with wild garlic. Since I started this blog I have watched other food writers make lovely things using wild garlic, I'd seen all the tweets, all the Instagrams and read all the posts but I didn't have the confidence to safely forage for some and I had no idea where to find any to begin with. Luckily I found a stall on my local market selling wild garlic plants, that's still wild right? So I've been tending to that plant patiently for the last month, you should know that I am not a patient gardener, in fact I'm a pretty rubbish gardener. So I have been waiting for this wild garlic to flower, worrying that like everything else in my garden it would wither and die. But today I couldn't wait any longer, I was just not ready to risk it,I have had this recipe for feta & sun dried tomato swirls in my head for ages now, it had to happen today.
These savoury pastries couldn't have come at a better time, school's out for the Easter holidays the weather is all blue skies and sunshine and we have lots of days out planned, which also means the first picnics of the season! I love a good picnic and these feta & sun dried swirls with wild garlic pesto are perfect for picnics. Not that I'm limiting these to picnics, they are also perfect for afternoon teas or for your Easter entertaining, I would even say these would be good added to a Spring time brunch too. These are seriously tasty so don't limit them to just one picnic, we made them a few times and each time I made them they disappeared faster than a rabbit down a hole.
So we have two recipes here today, one for the wild garlic pesto and one for the swirls, I really don't see the point of doing one post just for the pesto as it's really easy to make. My much loved food processor decided to die when I started making this pesto, so I used my reliable pestle and mortar to make it and even though it took me a good 30 minutes, I'm sort of glad I did. You see when you use the pestle to pound the wild garlic and the parsley you release all the lovely oils from the herbs, this doesn't happen when you use a food processor, but if you are time short then go ahead and blitz it. I have read a lot about making pesto over the years and I have read that the flavour from pestos made with a pestle and mortar is more intense and I get it now, I'm converted. I will get a new food processor but I'm going old school for the pesto from now on.
Notes: I used an all-butter puff pastry, I find this bakes better. If you can't get your hands on wild garlic don't panic, store-bought will work too. These are lovely served warm but are great cold too, they will keep for a day or two in an airtight container. The wild garlic pesto will keep in the fridge for a week, add it to pasta, swirl it into soups or add it to some boiled Jersey Royals.
If you're looking for some new exciting ways to use garlic in your cooking then head on over to the FeedFeed website and this awesome garlic round-up Thank you to Julie & Christine from feedfeed for including this recipe 🙂
Feta and Sun Dried Tomato Swirls with Wild Garlic Pesto
For the pesto
- 60 g wild garlic (ramps)
- 20 g curly leaf parsley
- 50 g parmesan cheese finely grated
- 50 g hazelnuts skinned, lightly toasted then chopped
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp each of sea salt and cracked black pepper
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
FOR THE FETA & SUN DRIED TOMATO SWIRLS WITH WILD GARLIC PESTO
- 1 375g sheet of ready rolled all butter puff pastry
- 3 heaped tbsp wild garlic pesto
- 100 g feta crumbled
- 50 g sun dried tomatoes sliced lengthways
- 1 egg whisked
- A little plain flour for dusting
MAKE THE PESTO
- Add the wild garlic, parsley and hazelnuts to a mortar and pound with the pestle to break down the leaves and nuts, until you have a paste, this took me about 30 minutes. Add the cheese and still using the pestle mash it into the herbs.
- Then stir in the lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper. Add the extra virgin olive oil one tablespoon at a time until you have a smooth slightly loose sauce. Transfer to a sealable glass jar.
MAKE THE FETA & SUN DRIED TOMATO SWIRLS
- Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C, I use a fan assisted, electric oven, please adjust according to your own oven.
- Dust a working surface with some flour, roll out the pastry.
- Spread 3 tbs of the wild garlic pesto onto the pastry leaving a little room around the edges.
- Sprinkle the feta on to the pesto and then add the sun dried tomatoes.
- Roll the pastry tightly from the long side, with a bread knife cut off the uneven edges at both ends.
- Cut the rolled pastry into slices, about 2cm thick, you should have 16 slices.
- Place the slices, flat side up, on two baking trays lined with parchment paper, brush with the egg wash then bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
- When cooked leave them to cool on the baking trays for a few minutes then place then on a wire tray to cool further.
- Serve warm or cold.