The bear’s garlic is a wild relative of chives native to Europe and Asia. The Latin name is due to the brown bear’s taste for the bulbs and its habit of digging up the ground to get at them; they are also a favorite of wild boar. Its season in Europe lasts until at the end of May. The ramsons-bear’s garlic are popularly harvested from the wild, but unfortunatelly its similarity to poisonous plants (Lilly of the Valley) regularly leads to cases of poisoning! So be carefull with them!
My adventure with the bear’s garlic
I discovered the ramsons circa three years ago. I was on an excursion in the German Alps when suddenly I noticed a strong, garlicy smell in the air. I’d learnt it later that it came from the bear’s garlic. After arriving home what I’d found at my doormat a bucketful bear’s garlic! Thanks to my German neighbour who had a garden. To figure out how to use them was a piece of cake since the German magazines are full with (overran) bear’s garlic recipes. I took the plunge and at first I’d made a soufflé from them which was a big success according to my family.
Next day when I opened my fridge I realized that that I have more than enough bear’s garlic still so I let my phantasy to fly and I conjured a fennel-bear’s garlic soup for dinner, then a pork chop with mustard-bear’s garlic potato puré. And I still had bear’s garlic in my fridge. Meanwhile I puzzled what else can I make from them one of my Italian friend suggested to make a pesto. –”I always use bear’s garlic instead of basil”- he told me. So I prepared the pesto (Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add a pinch sea salt. Prepare a separate bowl of ice water and set aside. Blanch half the garlic in the boiling water for about 5 seconds, and then dip it in ice water for about 2 seconds. Squeeze the excess liquid from the cloves with your hands and place in a food processor with the remaining fresh garlic. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil into the food processor with a pinch of salt. Process on high speed until coarsely ground, 5 to 10 seconds.Transfer the mixture to a sieve and press the liquid through into a bowl using a ladle. Serve for instance with lamb ribs).
Of the fourth day of the bear’s garlic my family called a strike and begged me- please don’t prepare more bear’s garlic dish this week!! I accepted. But during our negotiation was a godsend, that my Swiss girlfriend called me on the phone. She wanted to discuss what should be the motto of our due dinner battle’s party was due on that very weekend. To cut my story short the bear’s garlic party was a big hit not only because we had plenty of trays piled with the best of bear’s garlic dishes but also because I could complete my bear’s garlic’s file we handed over recipes to each other.
Spinach, marjory cheese roll
Ingredients: 0,5 kg spinach 250 gr bear, nettle 2 tbs olive oil, 2 onions, 1 teaspoon marjory, salt, pepper, nutmeg, 2 egg yolks, 4 egg whites
For the mayonnaise: 2 egg yolks , ½ lemon juice ,1 tbs mustard, 1 tbs wine vinegar, 2 tbs olive oil 6 tbs sunflower seeds, 100 gr scampi-prawn
Preheat the oven to 190 grades. Clean spinach, bear’s garlic, nettle and wash them carefully. Toss them into boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Heat the olive oil, soaté the chopped onion, add marjory, salt and nutmeg.
Place the spinach mixture to a food mixer, add soatéd onion, egg yolks and make a purée. Whisk the egg white until stiff. Fold it over spinach, mix well everything together then smear mixture evenly onto skillet and bake it for 10-12 minutes in the oven.
Meanwhile prepare majonnaise, add prawn flavor with salt and pepper. Divide it onto the spinach roll. Let it cool for 30 minutes. To serve decorate with edible flowers and herbs.