Easter means eggs, there’s no way around it. But to me it also means eating as many wild herbs as possible. It is what our bodies need after the month of mostly eating vegetables from storage. These “weeds” have all the vitality of spring and as I’m currently experiencing a bout of “spring fatigue”, I try to include as many as possible in my diet. Many go well with eggs and in the past years I have made many spring dishes combining weeds with eggs in some form: nettle spanakopita, nettle quiche and this ricotta al forno.
Only this week though have I started thinking about making spring-like deviled eggs. I looked in the understory of my edible forest garden for inspiration and decided that wild garlic would be perfect. It gives the filling a subtle garlicky flavor, but without the punch that raw garlic would give and the pretty white flowers are perfect as decoration. I normally make the filling for deviled eggs with butter, like my mother does, which I think holds up better than mayonnaise, but have lightened it with yogurt this time. It is a lighter a version, more appropriate to the season of frivolous tulips and blossoming fruit trees.
Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) is a woodland plant, it’s growing cycle perfectly adapted to growing under deciduous trees. It grows vigorously in early spring, before the trees come to leaf, then disappears underground till next spring. If you look in autumn, you might find the small wild garlic bulbs which are edible too. I grow wild garlic under my apple tree, where it is slowly spreading in a corner of the garden. But if you live close to deciduous forests, you may forage for them in the wild.
Wild garlic deviled eggs
50 g butter, softened
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp whole milk yogurt
15 leaves of wild garlic, about 3 tbsp finely chopped
wild garlic flowers to decorate
Boil the eggs in simmering water for 10 minutes. Drain them and cover with cold water. If you boil them in advance (say the evening before), they’re probably easier to peel – though there are many theories on how to succeed in peeling them neatly.
Cut the eggs in half horizontally and pop out the yolks. In a medium bowl, mash the yolks with a fork. Add the butter, mustard and yogurt and mix thoroughly. (Yo can do this in the food processor, which makes for a smoother, aerated mixture). Stir in the chopped wild garlic leaves and season with salt to taste. Pipe the filling into the halves and decorate with wild garlic flowers.