Serves: 4 - Time:
This dish is directly inspired by the Ligurian classic but in place of the pesto I have used a wild garlic oil which is then made into a really delicious and very green mayonnaise. I serve it cold as a salad alongside roast chicken, roast lamb or poached salmon. If the salad is served at room temperature I don’t have a problem serving it with a warm accompaniment. The same pan of water is used to cook the vegetables followed by the pasta to save time and washing up. You really need a goblet blender or liquidiser to make the oil-a food processor won’t blend the wild garlic leaves sufficiently to create the unctuous oil.
- 100g wild garlic leaves, washed and patted dry (or spun dry in a salad spinner)
- 225ml light olive oil –or vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 200g green beans, topped and tailed
- 320g new potatoes, preferably Jersey Royals, halved
- 250g trofie pasta
- To finish 6-8 wild garlic leaves, finely chopped
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the wild garlic. Time 30 seconds then drain and refresh under cold water. Drain again and squeeze out any excess moisture. Roughly chop the leaves and put them in the goblet of a Nutribullet-style blender, Pour in the oil and blend for about 50-60 seconds until the oil has turned a vivid green. Set aside about 5 tablespoons.
- If you have a stick blender make the mayonnaise in the cup that is supplied with the blender. Put the egg, mustard, vinegar, a little salt and ground black pepper and all but the 5 tablespoons reserved oil. Lower the stick blender into the cup and blend for 20 seconds. Continuing to blend, slowly lift the stick up the cup –it should emulsify as the head is lifted through the mixture. If you haven’t got a stick blender put the egg, mustard, vinegar and salt and pepper in the small bowl of a food processor and blend. With the motor running slowly drizzle in the wild garlic oil until the mayonnaise is thick. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Set aside.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the beans. Time three and a half minutes then lift the beans out of the water with tongs or a slotted spoon and plunge into cold water. Drain the beans, pat dry and cut in half. Set aside.
- Put the potatoes in the same pan of boiling water and simmer for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Lift out of the water and place in a mixing bowl. When cool enough to handle you can peel off the skins and cut into bite-size pieces. Spoon over the reserved 5 tablespoons of wild garlic oil and toss well to coat the potatoes.
- You will need to top up the water in the saucepan so pour in some just-boiled water from a kettle and add a little more salt-the water should taste briney. Add the trofie pasta and bring to the boil. Cook for 10-12 minutes until al dente. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain well and add to the potatoes along with the beans. Spoon over about half of the mayonnaise (you can keep the rest in the fridge for 2-3 days) and mix everything together. Taste and season with salt and ground black pepper. Scatter over some chopped wild garlic just before serving.