The veg patch is very needy at the moment. Planting seeds, replanting seeds because the mice break into the cold frame and eat them, spreading compost on the beds, cutting back fruit canes, feeding fruit trees, potting on seedlings, watering seedlings… and all accompanied by the damp, chill of drizzle that seeps through your garden gloves and into your bones.

So this week, I’m going to crack on with the Hero Harvest – which is wild garlic – and accompanying recipe and be brief so that we can all get back to shovelling compost.

Wild garlic is to be foraged rather than grown. You’ll find it in woodlands, a blanket of green leaves that you will most likely smell before you see. Pick some, but not all of what you find. It’s the leaves you want for cooking, or the flowers. Don’t pull up the bulbs or there won’t be any wild garlic next year. And don’t confuse it with Lily of the Valley. Which looks a bit similar. And is poisonous.

Bring your leaves home, wash them, and use them in pesto, pasta sauces, herby dressings, quiche, mixed with butter and smothered on a roasting chicken… the options are endless. My favourite wild garlic recipe is a classic frittata:

Wild garlic and pine nut frittata

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves 2

Wild garlic and pine nut frittata

A quick, simple vegetarian supper that makes the most of the wild garlic season. Time to get foraging.

  • 1 onion
  • 30g butter
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 125g mascarpone
  • 50ml double cream
  • 125g wild garlic (cut with a few spinach leaves if your garlic is very strong)
  • 125g cheddar chopped into small chunks
  • 75g pine nuts
  1. Finely chop the onion then sweat in the butter until soft but not coloured - around 5-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the eggs, mascarpone and cream in a large bowl and season well. Chop the wild garlic and add this to the mix. Pop the onion mix and the cheddar into the egg mix and give it a good old stir.
  3. Pour into a small, lined roasting tin or ovenproof frying pan. The frittata mix wants to fill the base of the tin and be about 2cm deep. Sprinkle the pine nuts on top and bake for about 20 minutes at 175°C or until set in the middle and springy to touch.
  4. Serve sliced into wedges or in dainty squares.
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