A Cook's Plot

Side Dishes & Canapes

Last of the Wild Garlic (Wild Garlic Stuffing Balls)

I’ve got wild garlic mixed in with flowers in almost all my flowerbeds in the garden, as you can see here with the forget-me-nots in this photo. It’s practically impossible to get rid of it but actually it’s so pretty and it disappears quite gracefully after about six weeks, so I’m happy to live with its invasive nature. Almost all of it is in flower now so its usefulness in the kitchen has more or less come to an end (the flavour of the leaves isn’t as good once the flowers appear), but I couldn’t resist one last picking this weekend. I was cooking roast lamb for Easter Sunday and I used it to make a rather lovely stuffing to serve alongside the meat (I reckon the stuffing balls would make great meatball substitutes too, in a rich tomato sauce).

If you can’t find wild garlic, use spinach and normal garlic instead. I’ve used winter savory as the herb because I’ve got clumps of it at the corners of the beds outside my office, but you could use thyme (the flavour is very similar).


Serves 4-8

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • half tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 slices white bread (ideally sourdough)
  • half tsp ground coriander
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 3 sprigs winter savory or thyme, leaves only
  • 400g lean lamb mince (I used 10% fat mince)
  • grated zest of half a lemon
  • big handful wild garlic leaves, chopped
  • handful chopped parsley
  • 1 egg, beaten


Fry the onion in a little olive oil until soft. Meanwhile, whizz the bread and fennel seeds in a mini food processor to form crumbs (or chop as small as possible by hand) and dry-fry the coriander until it becomes fragrant. Then mix everything together with your hands, season well with salt and black pepper and roll into 8 balls. Bake in a lightly greased dish at 180C (fan oven) for 30 minutes.

My Latest Recipes