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Cucumber, pickled wild garlic oil, thick yogurt, walnuts, and honey

A sweet and punchy salad that's ideal for wild garlic picking season
Cucumber, Pickled Wild Garlic Oil, Thick Yogurt, Walnuts, and HoneyCaitlin Isola

Go wild garlic picking! Found in shady woods and by marshes, you’ll discover these sweet leaves in glorious abundance between the end of winter and the beginning of summer, so make your oil when you can. Sweeter than regular garlic, wild garlic carries notes of dewy spring fields, forests, and marshes. Although it’s the buds that are usually pickled, this recipe is totally unique and tried, tested, and enjoyed by many of my customers. It’s punchy and a little goes a long way. Pickling the leaves takes three days and the yoghurt takes 24 hours to strain, so this is one to prep in advance.

This recipe is an extract from Doma: Traditional Flavours and Modern Recipes from the Balkan Diaspora

Cucumber, pickled wild garlic oil, thick yoghurt, walnuts, and honey


Serves 4

For the pickled wild garlic oil

120g (41⁄4oz) wild garlic leaves, roughly chopped
150g (51⁄2oz) caster (superfine) sugar
1 tbsp salt
250ml (9fl oz) white wine vinegar
150ml (5fl oz) olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

For the salad

300g (10oz) full-fat yogurt
1 cucumber, sliced into ribbons 200g (7oz) ground walnuts 50ml (13⁄4fl oz) runny honey Salt and
freshly ground black pepper
  1. Step 1

    To make the wild garlic oil, first pickle the leaves. Combine the leaves, sugar, salt, and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes or until fully incorporated. Set aside to cool completely.

    Step 2

    Transfer the garlic mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and place in the fridge for 3 days.

    Step 3

    Drain the garlic mixture through a fine sieve, discarding the liquid. Transfer to a blender or food processor, add the olive oil and blend to combine. The oil can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container or 6 months in a sterilised jar.

    Step 4

    To make the salad, first strain the yoghurt. Line a fine mesh sieve with muslin (cheesecloth) and place over a bowl. Place the yoghurt into the sieve and refrigerate for 24 hours.

    Step 5

    Transfer the yoghurt to a bowl, season well, and drizzle with olive oil.

    Step 6

    To serve, cover the bottom of a serving dish with the yoghurt. Arrange the cucumber on the dish and season lightly with salt. Drizzle with the wild garlic oil, sprinkle over the walnuts and finish with the honey.