Wild garlic is all around us this time of year and it’s completely free! Take a look in your local park; just make sure you give it a good wash before using it. All you need are a few leaves to garnish salads or add to sauces to bring a wonderful herby, garlic flavour.
2 fillets of organic Salmon with skin on (scaled)
For the chive potato dumplings
150g dry mashed potato (you will need 3 medium Red Rooster or Maris Piper potatoes) 30g pasta flour or strong white flour 25g grated parmesan 1 tbsp olive oil 1 small egg yolk 1 tbsp freshly chopped chives
For the wild garlic sauce
1 onion, finely sliced
1 medium potato
30 wild garlic leaves (reserve 2 for garnish)
Juice of ½ a lemon
For the Chive Potato Dumplings: First make the mashed potatoes. Pre-heat the oven to 200ᵒC. Quickly wash the potatoes if they are muddy, keeping the skin in tact. Dry them with a tea towel, prick them a couple of times with a fork and place them on a baking tray with a small heap of salt underneath each potato. Bake them for 30 minutes then turn over and bake for a further 30 minutes. They will be very hard and crisp on the outside, but light and fluffy on the inside. Cut each potato in half, scoop out the potato from the skin and place through a potato ricer. Allow the mash to cool to room temperature.
When the mashed potatoes are ready, combine 100g with the pasta flour, parmesan, chives and salt in a bowl and lightly mix with your finger tips until the flour is evenly distributed. Add the oil and egg yolk and bring the mixture together by gently pressing down and folding it over. Roll the mix out on a very lightly floured surface to form a ball then cover with cling film and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. In this time, prepare a large pan of simmering water well seasoned with salt, as well as a large bowl of iced water.
To form the potato dumplings, roll the dumpling mix out into a long thin sausage around 2cm thick. Cut the sausage into 2cm cubes, and in two hands roll each cube to form a small round dumpling. Place the dumplings onto a lightly floured tray while you mould the rest. Once you have all the dumplings ready, make sure your water is just simmering (not boiling) and is well seasoned with salt. Add the dumplings 5 or 6 at a time and allow them to gently cook in the water. When they rise to the surface and float, remove them and place into the ice-cold water for 3 minutes. Remove and dry on some kitchen paper or tea towel. Once all of the dumplings are cooked and dried, lightly coat them with some rapeseed oil to stop them from sticking. The dumplings can be stored like this in the fridge for up to 3 days.
For the Clams: Heat a large pan for 5 minutes, place the clams in with a splash of water, and place the lid on top. Leave the clams on the heat to steam for about 4 minutes until they have opened. Discard any that do not open. Pour the clams into a colander (retaining any cooking liquid). When they have cooled enough to touch, remove each clam from the shell and place in a bowl or container. Pass the clam cooking liquid through a fine sieve and pour just enough on to the clams to cover them. Refrigerate the clams until ready to use.
For the Wild Garlic Sauce: First make a potato base. Sweat the onions in some oil in a large pan until soft but do not colour. Peel and finely slice the potato and add to the pan, covering with water and seasoning with salt. Bring the water to the boil, and then slowly simmer until the potato is cooked through, adding water as it cooks to make sure the potato remains covered. Drain the potatoes and place them in a blender. Blitz the mixture while still hot until completely smooth.
While the potato puree is still hot, heat a large pan and add a drizzle of oil followed by the wild garlic leaves. Add a splash of water and place the lid on top. Remove from the heat and allow the leaves to wilt for 2 minutes.
Add the wilted leaves to the potato base and stir through then blitz for 2-3 minutes until smooth and dark green. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve and cool over a bowl of ice. Once cool, add the clam cooking liquid to the wild garlic sauce whisking until it is the consistency of double cream.
To finish: Pre-heat your oven to 200ᵒC. Heat a heavy based, oven safe, non-stick frying pan to a medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and place the salmon in the pan skin side down. Cook the salmon for 2 minutes, season with salt, then add a teaspoon of oil to the pan and put the chive potato dumplings around the salmon. Place the pan in the oven for 4 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven, turn the salmon and the dumplings over and allow them to gently finish cooking in the pan for 3 minutes with just the residual heat of the pan. The skin of the salmon should be crisp on top and the flesh just cooked inside.
Whilst the salmon is finishing, heat up the wild garlic sauce adding more clam cooking liquid if required to keep the sauce consistency. When hot, add the clams and some chopped wild garlic leaves and heat through. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the sauce in to the middle of two bowls, share out the clams and wild garlic equally. Place the salmon in the middle and the dumplings around it. Finish with a drizzle of virgin rapeseed or olive oil.