I didn’t cook with “young garlic” often before moving to Switzerland, the main reason is that it was not easy to find. It has a slightly milder taste than regular garlic, and you only eat its leaves, either raw or cooked (in soups, salads, pesto or to spice dishes). Young garlic is available only in the spring, and it grows in woodlands, and in moist , shaded areas. When you walk in wooded areas here in Switzerland you get overwhelmed by the garlic scent filling the-air.
In one of the recipes added it to a cheese pastry called Burek. Burek is made of filo, a paper-thin pastry commonly used in Turkey, but also popular in the Balkans and in Northern Africa. Filo is available in stores in the refrigerated pastry section. If you have access to Turkish stores you can buy it under name Yufka.
For the main course I prepared Chicken Cacciatore, and for dessert Physalis-fruit dipped in chocolate. Chicken Cacciatore is a light Italian chicken dish with tomato sauce: (you can also add to it mushrooms or peppers and serve it with either rice or paste. Physalis is a small orange fruit with a slightly acidic taste, it is delicious when paired with chocolate: it helps bring a light-end to the meal. If Physalis is not available you can use other fruits such as: strawberries, banana or pineapple.
Pastry with young garlic and feta
- 6 sheets of filo pastry (yufka)
- 140g feta cheese, crumbled
- 4 tablespoons creme fresh
- 2 tablespoons young garlic, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda )
- oil for brushing
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Lightly oil, and then line cake tin (about 15cm – 5.1/2 in wide ) with baking paper.
In a small bowl mix feta cheese, creme fresh, egg, baking soda, and half of the young garlic.
Remove 6 filo sheets, filo dries quickly so you have to cover them with a kitchen towel. Moisten other kitchen towel and put over first one.
Place one sheet of filo on work surface, then brush with oil.
Place other sheet on top and brush with oil again.
Spoon about 5 tablespoons of filling toward one end, leaving sides clear.
Fold sides in, then fold end of pastry over filling.
Keep rolling up.
Roll sheets into tube and tuck sides underneath.
Place into cake tin seam – side down.
Repeat with other four sheets. You will have three tubes filing the cake tin.
Brush with the oil and sprinkle with the rest of chopped young garlic.
Place in the middle shelf and bake for about 30-35 minute, or until golden brown.
Let it stand in a tin for about 5 minute, then take out of the tin and let it cool.
- 8 chicken tights (or 4 drumsticks and 4 tights)
- 2 cans (400g each) of peeled tomatoes, diced and juices saved
- 100g mushrooms (preferably different varieties), chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- one small carrot finely chopped
- 2 gloves of garlic, minced
- 1 spring of fresh thyme
- 1 spring of fresh oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- four tablespoons of oil
- 140ml / 1/2 cup white wine
- 80ml / 1/3 cup chicken stock
Heat one and a half tablespoon of oil in a small pan. Add chopped onion and carrot and saute on a low heat for 15-20 minute, or until soft, but not browned.
Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the mushroom and cook for extra five minutes.
Until the onion is cooked, brown the meat. In a large casserole dish heat one tablespoon of oil. Dust each piece of chicken with salt and pepper and brown (skin side only) on medium-high heat. Browning helps to enhance the flavor of meat. Don’t overcrowd pieces. Brown in batches.
Tip-of all the fat, and then return all chicken peace’s to casserole.
Pour over onion-mushroom mixture. Add wine, chicken stock then thyme, oregano and salt.
Add chopped tomatoes with their juice. Cover casserole with the lid, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low simmer and cook about 45 minutes, or until chicken is completely cooked ( when testing a piece of chicken the juices should run clear).
Discard the thyme and oregano springs. Lift out chicken pieces and keep warm. Bring the sauce to boil and cook until reduced, and gets thicker.
Adjust seasoning if necessary. Arrange chicken peaces on a plate and spoon sauce over. You can serve with rice or pasta, or a slice of crunchy bread.
Chocolate dipped Physalis fruit
- 20 Physalis fruit
- 100g dark chocolate, finally chopped
Lift dry leafs and wash the fruit. Let them dry.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
Stir occasionally until chocolate melts completely. Remove from heat.
Dip each fruit into the chocolate, let the excess drip. Place them on baking paper, and let them sit at room temperature.