Hogweed and Wild Garlic Bruschetta
The lovely, grassy flavour of common hogweed takes centre stage in this simple bruschetta. Tender young shoots are blanched and tossed in olive oil scented with wild garlic and spiked with chilli flakes. Over and above the topping ingredients, any good bruschetta requires two key things: well-flavoured, open textured bread (such as sourdough), and good-quality, fruity olive oil.
- 2 handfuls (about 100g) young hogweed shoots
- About 6 wild garlic leaves, plus a few flowers for garnishing, if available
- ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes, or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing the toast and for drizzling
- 2 large slices of sourdough or other good bread
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- Rinse the hogweed shoots and leave them to drain in a colander.
- Put a pan of generously salted water on to boil for blanching the hogweed. When the water is boiling, add the hogweed and cook until the thicker stems are just tender – this should take about 2 minutes. Drain the hogweed and quickly rinse them under cold water to cool them and to preserve their bright green colour. Drain the cooled hogweed shoots well, then gently blot them with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel to remove any excess water.
- Rinse the wild garlic leaves and shake them dry. Lay the leaves one on top of the other and roll them up tightly. Slice the roll into fine shreds and then chop the shreds finely.
- Warm 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan set over a low heat. Add the wild garlic and chilli flakes and let them cook slowly so that they infuse the oil with their flavour. When the wild garlic is nicely wilted, add the blanched hogweed and stir well to coat with the oil. Season generously and keep warm over a low heat while you prepare the toast.
- Toast or griddle your slices of bread and brush with olive oil. Top with the hogweed mixture, scattering with the wild garlic flowers, is using, and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK