Wild garlic is a wonderful delicacy at this time of year and when I come across it, I tend to go a bit mad and buy armfuls – like its spring companion asparagus - convinced it will go with everything; thankfully, it is an amiable accompaniment to most things. However, last night was a feast of sheer genius (I hope you don’t mind me saying) and I must, must write it down.
We were aiming for something around the theme of steak sandwiches and chips and in my head this seemed perfectly preceded by a bunch of asparagus roasted in the oven with olive oil, as is our wont. Pondering on how to include some of the wild garlic, I was seduced by the idea of a wild garlic cream to dip the asparagus and even the chips into. What follows is how I put it all together.
For the chips either: open bag of frozen chips and bake in hot oven for around 20 minutes or: cut peeled floury or unpeeled new potatoes into wedges, drizzle with oil and salt and bake in a hot oven for around 30 minutes, depending on their size.
For the wild garlic cream, gently warm half a tub of crème fraiche in a small pan (it’s hard to be prescriptive about this, but as much as you think you would like spooned over everything…). Finely chop a good handful of the wild garlic leaves and add to the cream, leaving it to gently bubble for a few minutes. Cube some Jarlsberg (again, hard to be dictatorial about this as this was simply what I had in; the Pecorino also in stock would have been a bit too big for its boots first time around, but I see no reason not to try it next time) and add to the sauce. Jarlsberg adds a lovely sweet nutty background taste that lets the wild garlic take centre stage. Check the seasoning.
Roast or steam your asparagus until tender and set aside, kept warm.
Griddle your seasoned steak until done to your desired degree. I tend towards rare as rare can be and underdo it on the griddle so that the resting time cooks it through a little more.
Split your sandwich bread of choice open (we had ciabatta) and smear with a thin layer of Dijon mustard. I find it impossible to have a steak sandwich without this essential layer; you may feel differently. Toss over some watercress. Slice your rested steak thinly and carefully, saving the juices and arrange on the bread then pour over the juices and season again. Spoon over some of the wild garlic cream and sandwich together.
Pour the rest of the cream into a pot and use for dipping asparagus and chips into. Heavenly creamy bliss in a few minutes.
You, my friends, are welcome.