The spring is here and for me, it means I can go to the forest and pick some wild garlic (also known as allium ursinum, ramsons, buckrams, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic, bear leek, or bear’s garlic). In Estonia, we call it karulauk. But to be honest, this time I didn’t go to the forest to pick some wild garlic. Instead, I chose the easy way and just went to the farmer’s market. I don’t really know the best place near me where I can pick some wild garlic. I know all the right places for mushrooms and berries but I have missed wild garlic. Many people say that it’s usually more in northern Estonia or just in the gardens. Also, it looks quite similar to the poisonous plant called lily of the valley. So, everyone has to be careful with picking wild garlic.
Anyway, I was happy to see the wild garlic on the farmer’s market and I didn’t even think twice and bought it straight away. Why do I like wild garlic? After the dark winter, the wild garlic is something I always look forward to! It cleans the body perfectly! Even if you don’t like raw garlic, then you might like wild garlic. It doesn’t have that strong garlic taste at all. It’s just like some kind of herb what makes everything better and gives a lot of taste. One of the things I always make with wild garlic is pesto. However, the other solution is just to chop some wild garlic into your mayonnaise, soup or salad and you are ready to go!
The health benefits of wild garlic are endless. It’s antibacterial, antibiotic and contains vitamin A and C. In addition, it’s full of calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and copper. It’s good for your heart and blood pressure. For me, it’s local and seasonal. So, I think it’s the must-have ingredient in the springtime! It just makes me happy.
The recipe for this salad is easy and it’s just delicious and good for your digestive system. I can feel the power every time I have finished the bowl of salad! Also, if you can’t find wild garlic, then you can always just use the same recipe for the salad and replace wild garlic with fresh basil and raw garlic.
Quinoa & Wild Garlic Salad
serve for 2
- 1,5 dl quinoa
- 1 bunch of wild garlic (if you can’t find the wild garlic, then you can just use 1 bigger bunch of basil and 1 smaller glove minced garlic)
- 1 bigger tomato
- a handful of raw chopped cashews
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp parmesan cheese (optional)
- salt & pepper
- 2 egg (optional)
- 2 handfuls of spinach
1. Boil 1,5 dl quinoa with 3 dl water. Add some salt. Boil the quinoa for 15 minutes on low heat until cooked (sometimes I prepare even more. It makes it easier to make quick salads for lunch).
2. Chop the wild garlic into thin slices and diced tomato. Mix the wild garlic with diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, parmesan and olive oil.
3. While the quinoa is cooking poach the eggs (you can make the salad without eggs, the choice is yours). How to poach an egg? There are thousands of solutions for poaching an egg. However, I have found that the best way for me is to use a non-sticking saucepan. Before I used a whisk and lightly swirled the water. But when I worked in the kitchen and I had to poach for example 20 eggs for every breakfast, then I realized that using the saucepan is easier. It just depends on how many eggs are you doing at the same time and how much mess you would like to make. So, how I poach an egg?
- Choose very fresh eggs (then it´s easier to poach an egg).
- Just fill the saucepan with water and add a tbsp vinegar.
- Get the water to boil and then lower the heat a little bit. There has to be only very small bubbles. You don´t need the big bubbles. If the water boils too much, then it will break the egg into small pieces.
- Gently break the egg into the water (you can put the egg into the small bowl and pour them from there as well). Do the same thing with the rest of the eggs.
- The water has to simmer for 2-3 minutes. The egg yolk should be still soft when you gently touch it with a finger. You would like to have runny eggs. The egg white should be thick.
- Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and put it on the paper towel to get rid of the excess vinegar.
4. Put some spinach at the bottom of the bowl. Add quinoa, wild garlic mix and a poached egg. Decorate with some black pepper.