Tag Archives: smoked bacon

Wild Onion Pesto Pasta

My Wild Garlic Pesto Pasta
My Wild Onion Pesto Pasta
Wild Garlic Pesto
Wild Onion Pesto
Wild Garlic
Wild Onion

I went down to my parent’s place in West Cork for Easter and decided that I should make dinner one of the nights I was there. I had heard that Wild Onionwas now in season and as our place in West Cork is surrounded with the stuff I decided to make something using it. Despite our house being surrounded with it, we never actually ate it growing up. It was only after hearing others talking about cooking with it, that I decided to give it a go.

I decided to make Wild Onion Pesto and make a pasta dish with it, as this seemed the easiest think to do and added some smoked bacon lardons to the dish for a bit of extra flavour. I managed to get my hands on some fresh pasta from Iago’s in The English Market which made such a difference, but of course any pasta would do. I garnished with some chopped almonds leftover from the pesto and some flowers from the wild onion to make it look more time consuming than it was! I had only made a jar of pesto but still had about half a jar leftover which was surprisingly nice with eggs on toast the next morning, as well as in some sandwiches for lunch.

The pesto will last about a week in the fridge (cover the top of it with some olive oil to preserve), but you can easily freeze tupperware containers of it, so it’s worth making a larger batch and having a few tubs in the freezer for the coming months. If you don’t have access to Wild Onion, just use basil. Also you can use any nuts in the pesto that you like. This is a really easy dish that you can adjust as you wish. All parts of the Wild Onion plant are edible  so just wash well and do what you like with it, it would be lovely in salads and mashed potato dishes too. It’s growing everywhere in Cork and probably Ireland at the moment and is free, so go mad and give it a go!

A Delicious Dinner
A Delicious Dinner

Ingredients (Serves Four):

Wild Onion Pesto (to make one jar):

1 Large Bunch Wild Onion(about 2 large fist fulls)

100g almonds

60g parmesan cheese

Olive oil

Salt

Pasta:

Tagiatelle Pasta for 4 people (or whatever pasta you have)

200g Smoked Bacon Lardons

Salt

Olive Oil

2 tbsp Chopped Almonds

Wild Onion Flowers

1. Blitz up the almonds with a hand blender and add in enough olive oil to combine. Add in washed and chopped wild onion and blitz in. Stir in grated parmesan and give one last little bliz to ensure well combined. Season with a little salt.

2. Fry smoked bacon lardons in a hot frying pan. When the bacon is almost done you can pop the pasta into a pot of hot, salted water with a glug of olive oil.

3. When the pasta is done, drain it and throw back in the empty pot, spoon in about half a jar of pesto and the bacon lardons. Stir well to coat the pasta evenly.

4. Serve with some chopped almonds and garnish with the wild onion flowers. Enjoy!

All It Takes Are A Few Good Ingredients
All It Takes Are A Few Good Ingredients
Blend Into A Paste
Blend Into A Paste
Fry Up Your Smoked Bacon
Fry Up Your Smoked Bacon
Mix Ingredients Together Well
Mix Ingredients Together Well
Wild Garlic Pesto Pasta
Wild Onion Pesto Pasta
Easy and Delicious
Easy and Delicious

Rainbow Vegetable & Bacon Gratin

Rainbow Gratin
Rainbow Gratin

I have been using the freezing weather as an excuse to cook more hearty meals when I come home in the evening and decided to revamp the classic potato gratin. Usually it comes as a side, but I wanted to make it a main. I used layers of sweet potato, rainbow carrots (yes you can get purple, white & yellow carrots… it was news to me too), a mix of leek, smoked bacon & béchamel sauce, and finally topped it with a layer of mixed sweet potato and rooster potato. It was glorious, so colourful and packed with flavour! It makes a great main as you’ve got your meat and vegetables all in one.

 

I would definitely recommend making this, there is something comforting about a nice potato-y meal, hot from the casserole dish that reminds me of coming home from school when I was younger. Rather than making one large gratin (this recipe serves 6), I made two small gratins and froze one for a quick dinner the week after. You can get adventurous with this and use other root vegetables; celeriac would be nice and has great flavour. All veggies used are seasonal. Give it a go and let me know what you think!

Rainbow Carrots & Potatoes Finely Sliced
Rainbow Carrots & Potatoes Finely Sliced
Leek, Onion, Garlic, Bacon & Parsley
Leek, Onion, Garlic, Bacon & Parsley

 

Ingredients For Gratin:

1 Large or 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes Finely Sliced

1 Large Rooster Potato Finely Sliced

4-5 Rainbow Carrots (Or normal carrots) Finely Sliced

2 Leeks Finely Sliced

1 Onion Finely Chopped

2 Cloves Garlic Crushed

1 Packet Chopped Smoked Streaky Bacon (I used Gubbeen… love the stuff!)

Salt & Pepper

Chopped Parsley (Optional, use whatever herbs you prefer!)

Handful Grated Parmesan

 

Bechamel Sauce:

750ml Whole Milk

60g Butter

50g Plain/Cream Flour

70g Grated Parmesan Cheese

 

  1. Make sauce by mixing all ingredients except cheese, when sauce thickens turn off heat, add cheese & continue to stir. Season well with salt & cracked black pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat large frying pan, add tbsp oil, add garlic then add onion & leek. When leek starts to soften (after 3 mins or so) push leek to side of frying pan and add bacon. When bacon starts to cook, stir all together and add parsley. Add 1/3 of béchamel sauce and stir well. Turn off heat under the frying pan.
  3. Start layering your casserole dish. First apply a layer of sweet potato to the dish. Then add layer off your leek mix. Add layer of carrot. Add another layer of leek. Add final layer of rooster & sweet potato. Cover with remaining béchamel sauce & cover with casserole lid or tinfoil.
  4. Put in preheated oven at 190C for 40mins (or until cooked through, use knife to test), then take off lid, add grated cheese & allow to brown and crisp for a further 10 mins (Reduce heat to 170C).
  5. Enjoy with a side salad, I added some balsamic vinegar to mine. Simple!
Add Bechamel to Leeks
Add Bechamel to Leeks
Layer One
Layer One

 

Layer Two
Layer Two
Layer Three
Layer Three
Layer Four
Layer Four
Final Layer
Final Layer
Cover With Bechamel Sauce
Cover With Bechamel Sauce
Sprinkle with Parmesan
Sprinkle with Parmesan
Rainbow Gratin
Rainbow Gratin