You can smell it's pungent fragrance through the open window and see it's dedicated white flower all along the hedgerows, what else could it be but Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum). After a light rain shower last week and being very organised (for once) the children and I went for a walk to a wooded copse a short distance from our home. It took our breath away, firstly we were astounded by the sheer number of bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) elegantly hanging their heads, seeming almost as if they are looking demurely at us through their petals. The second was the smell of the garlic, in the steamy mist after the rain it was remarkable. The small white flowers are so pretty, so eager are they to catch your attention with their tiny upturned faces that you can't help but be drawn to them.
Very appealing indeed, which was a good thing really because I had a great hankering for some garlic cheese, now don't go running off in terror thinking that I'm going to talk endlessly about cheese cultures and curds, nope this is really very easy. In fact there is nothing really to do other that stir and leave in the fridge overnight or if you can stand it, for a full 24 hours! The result is a soft spreadable cream cheese that goes much easier on your waistline than Boursin cheese for example (a whopping 405kCal per 100g!!) and although not an exact replica it is very good to eat on all kinds of breads and cheese crackers. I prefer to use Greek yogurt as my main ingredient but feel free to experiment and let me know how it goes. If you would like a tasty dip instead then follow the method below but reduce the chilling time to 6 hours and you're good to go!!
500g Greek yogurt ( I used Aldi Greek Style Yogurt)
1 Clove garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 tbsp Dried parsley or fresh parsley finely chopped
2 tsp Table salt
Spring onions, sliced
The equipment for this recipe is fairly basic, a large bowl for mixing, a square of muslin (I bought my Kilner muslin square in Heaton's, Cavan for €3.00), sieve and a smaller bowl to catch the excess liquid.
Scoop the yogurt into a large clean bowl, add the garlic, parsley and the table salt.
Combine the ingredients together, make sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Place the sieve over the smaller bowl, line the sieve with the muslin square and spoon in the garlicky yogurt mixture.
Gather the muslin together, gently twist and lay on top of the yogurt. Leave in the fridge for 18-24 hours depending on how firm you want the finished cheese to be.
Immediately the yogurt will start to drain away the excess liquid.
This is how the cheese will look after 24 hours, it is much firmer and a has the consistency of cream cheese.
After 24 hours I usually have about 150mls of liquid left in the bowl.
Spread on freshly toasted sliced baguette and devour!!