It’s that time of year when, walking through the woods – or even the local park, in this case, you’re periodically greeted by pungent breezes from crops of wild garlic. The Jew’s ear, or jelly ear, fungus is still out on the elder trees, so I thought it was time to combine the two flavours.
You’re not allowed to dig up the roots of the wild garlic, but that’s OK because the leaves are perfectly garlicky enough anyway.
This is a really quick, simple and cheap dish. Be prepared that no-one will want to kiss you for a couple of days afterwards, however.
Ingredients (serves two)
1-2 handfuls of wild garlic leaves
10-15 Jew’s/jelly ear fungi
olive oil, salt and pepper, knob of butter
handful of toasted pine nuts (optional – I added these for a bit of protein)
Put the spaghetti on to boil. Rinse, dry and slice the fungi. Rinse and roughly chop the garlic. Heat the olive oil, then add the fungi. Don’t let it get too hot, as the fungi can start ‘popping’ at high temperatures. Fry for about five minutes. Drain the spaghetti and add the knob of butter and stir. Then add the cooked fungi and raw garlic leaves, plus salt and pepper. If you’re adding pine nuts, toast them briefly in a hot frying pan until they’re slightly browned, then sprinkle on top.
Pine nuts (optional): 80p