Scallions wrapped in bacon: simply delicious
Kitchen Cabinet: former Lacken House chef Eugene McSweeney uses wild garlic for a punchy basil pesto accompainment
Eugene McSweeney’s grilled scallions wrapped in straky rashers and served with wild garlic pesto
Growing up in our small cottage in Portlaoise a long time ago, I remember my grandmother and my mother sowing garden vegetables. They were harvested and we ate them fresh from the garden. My fondest memories were of the small marble-sized new potatoes that we ate (skins and all) with lashings of butter every day.
I also vividly remember eating freshly pulled scallions made into sandwiches. Just two slices of batch bread well buttered with chopped scallions in the middle. Such flavour and such childhood memories.
Now in spring/early summer I like to wrap whole scallions in flattened streaky bacon and either grill them on a grill pan or else put them on the barbecue. They cook very quickly and are delicious eaten hot and dipped into wild garlic pesto.
The late great chef Gerry Galvin introduced me to the delights of wild garlic when he hosted a Euro-Toques event at his Drimcong House Restaurant in Co Galway, many years ago.
Since then, I use it and its lovely flowers each spring to make delicious pesto and wild garlic flower tempura. I even have my own small patch of wild garlic in my garden.
Eugene McSweeney is former chef-proprietor of Lacken House restaurant in Kilkenny and a former commissioner general of Euro-Toques Ireland
GRILLED SCALLIONS WRAPPED IN STREAKY RASHERS AND SERVED WITH WILD GARLIC PESTO
6 whole fresh scallions (spring onions)
6 slices of streaky rashers (bacon)
A little oil for basting
A bowl of wild garlic pesto (or basil pesto) for dipping
For the wild garlic pesto:
150g wild garlic leaves
50g grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
50g pine nuts
Zest and juice of half a lemon
130g rapeseed oil
1 Clean the scallions and and cut off the roots.
2 Place the streaky rashers between two sheets of cling film and using a rolling pin, flatten them out.
3 Carefully wrap each scallion in the bacon from the root to the top of the green leaves. Make sure that the bacon is tightly wrapped.
4 Brush with a little oil and place on a barbecue or hot grill pan.
5 Turn them when the bacon becomes crisp. They are ready for eating very quickly.
6 Serve whole, or cut in half for dipping into the wild garlic pesto.
7 Wash and pick through the garlic leaves.
8 In a food processor, blitz the wild garlic leaves, Parmesan, garlic, pine nuts and lemon zest to a rough paste.
9 Season, and slowly add all of the oil, until you have a smooth paste. Taste and add the lemon juice.
10 Store in a sterilized glass jar and use as needed. I usually store mine in the fridge.
Kitchen Cabinet is a series of recipes from chefs who are members of Euro-Toques Ireland, who have come together during the coronavirus outbreak to share some of the easy, tasty things that they like to cook and eat at home #ChefsAtHome