Saturday, 11 April 2015

Three Leaves, Three Ways

Three leaves, three ways...with different dishes, different results.


Having seen Kevan Palmer’s quiches from his rather fine blogging efforts from last year  I decided that I’d have a crack to hopefully sneak some foraged ingredients into tea, under the family’s radar(!). The three leaves used are: Few Leafed Leek (with a chivey, leek taste), Jack-by-the-Hedge (a chivey taste), and Ramsons (a garlicky taste).

few leaved leeks and ramsons growing together

 By the way, I love the way that leaves can vary in size and shape, none more so that the jack-by-the-hedge. As you can see in the picture below it can be as small as a 10p, or the size of a jam lid, rounded or arrow head shaped. But I digress.

I decided to do a ham hock*** and few leaved leek, ramson and jack-by-the-hedge creation with the ratio of leaves being in the ordered stated about 5:3:2 (I guessed the leek taste would be at home in a ‘normal’ quiche). 

Whilst in the groove I decided to make a ransom flat bread. I'm not really a fan of it's taste when used in pesto but thought a flat bread might work. I judged the flour by eye (plain and self-raising to roughly a 3:1 ratio) and rolled  a good handful of coarsely chopped ramson leaves, a little jack-by-the-hedge and a small addition of coarse sea salt crystals. It was cooked in a medium oven for about ten minutes and grilled for two minutes or so to add a little colour to its cheeks.
This amount of ramsons  gave it a mild taste and it could easily be ramped up for a stronger tasting bread. The coarse salt adds a nice ping too.

To make the trio I decided to experiment making a vichyssoise (essentially a posh leek and potato soup) using just few leaved leek. I added about ten roughly chopped large leaves (about one ounce) to potato and stock, and then blitzed. 

So onto the family taste tests. It was wins with the  on the first two, but a tad disappointed with the last one. I cooked the leaves for a short while just to try and make sure the leaky taste stayed, but it wasn't to be. It still tasted OK as a summer greens type of soup, but wasn't quite the real deal...maybe extra leaves with ramsons next time...I have seen a soup recipe using similar three cornered leeks on the rather brilliant Eatweeds website but whilst garlic is listed in the ingredients, I can't see that the leeks are. 

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