What fun we had last weekend, when we went away up north to my cottage to harvest some of Spring's best goodies. Of course, a first harvest of the season is not complete without wild leeks, also known as 'ramps'. This was our first foray into the land of wild leeks and was it ever exciting for two nerdy nutritionists!
There is great power in the first fresh local foods of the season. These mighty little things are the first to spring forth from the earth after the deep freeze of Winter. And wouldn't you know it, they also provide so much of what our body needs to cleanse from the Winter build-up. One nutrient of note, is quercetin. You have heard of this before. Quercetin is a super nutrient to get in high doses to help ward off the sneezees and itchy eyes of hay-fever and Spring allergies. Nature always provides doesn't she?
Wild leeks are a cross between onions and garlic but oh so much sweeter. They are not a food that can be cultivated and so much be found out in the wild (or at your local farmer's market). I also read that harvesting wild leeks in many places is illegal as it is an endangered specie of plant. It's a shame that this has happened, but I got to say- up in the Northern Ontario/Algonquin region- wild leeks were everywhere! Here are some pics from our harvest adventure.
Josh in the leeks!I put a Tweet out for some Wild leek recipe ideas and got nothing in return. Nothing! I know why though. You wanted me to make them up myself. So that is just what I did. Here is the first of my wild leek cooking adventures. This wild leek pesto is amazing! It is so sweet and not very oniony tasting at all. Great on everything and I have been eating it on just about everything!
Wild Leek Pesto
1 big handful of wild leeks (about 20)
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 Tbs Nutritional Yeast (optional)
sea salt to taste
- Separate the bulbs from the leaves of the wild leeks
- Coarsely shop both the leaves and the bulbs
- Sautee the bulbs and chopped garlic on medium heat until the bulbs become slightly translucent
- Add the leaves to the pan and continue to sautee until leaves are limp
- Transfer to food processor and add cashews, optional nutritional yeast and a pinch of sea salt
- Process together until smooth- though you might like to leave a little chunky if you want the texture
- Add more salt if needed (need will depend on use of nutritional yeast)