Garlicky Glory: 4 French Recipes to Use Up your Garlic

Garlicky Glory: 4 French Recipes to Use Up your Garlic

Used in cuisine all around the world, garlic is especially well loved as a key ingredient in classic French dishes. Jenny Linford presents some must-try recipes featuring the alluring allium in both its wild and bulb forms…

Grilled wild garlic ramps mussels

A rich, tasty way to serve mussels, this offers a great contrast of textures between the crunchy crumb crust and the juicy mussel flesh below.

Serves 4 as an appetiser or 2 as a main


  • 1 kg/2¼ lbs mussels
  • 30 g/½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 15 g/4 cup wild garlic leaves/ramps, thoroughly rinsed and very finely chopped
  • 60 ml/¼ cup extra virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper.


1. Rinse the mussels well under cold running water, discarding any which are open or cracked. Scrub them well to remove any beards or grit.

2. Put the cleaned mussels in a large pan, adding cold water to a depth of 2.5 cm/1 in. up the side of the pan. Set the pan over a medium heat, cover and cook the mussels for around 5 minutes, until they have steamed open.

3. Drain the mussels, discarding any that haven’t opened during the cooking process.

4. Once the mussels are cool enough to handle, pull one half of each shell off each mussel, leaving the mussel anchored in the remaining half. Place the mussels, shell-side down, on a baking sheet.

5. Mix together the breadcrumbs, wild garlic/ ramps and olive oil, seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper. Spoon a little of the breadcrumb mixture over each mussel, so that it forms a topping.

6. Preheat a grill/broiler to its highest setting and cook the topped mussels for 2-3 minutes until the crumb topping turns golden brown. Serve at once.

© Clare Winfield

Garlic anchovy roast lamb

Adding a few classic flavourings to lamb before roasting it is a simple step that transforms the finished dish. As the lamb cooks, the anchovy fillets ‘melt’ into the dish, adding an extra umami touch to the tender lamb. Serve with new potatoes and broccoli, green beans or brussel tops.

Serves 4-6


  • I leg of lamb, approx. 1.5 kg/3¼ lbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped into slivers
  • 5 anchovy fillets, chopped into short pieces
  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, cut into short pieces
  • 40 g/3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 150 ml/½ cup red wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 300 ml/1¼ cups chicken stock or water


1. Preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F) Gas. Bring the lamb to room temperature.

2. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Using a small, sharp knife, cut little incisions in the lamb flesh on all sides of the leg. Take a piece each of garlic, anchovy and rosemary and insert the flavourings into an incision, making sure to push the garlic into the flesh. Repeat the process until all the garlic has been used up.

3. Mash any remaining anchovy and rosemary leaves into the softened butter. Place the lamb in a roasting tray and smear the butter over the fleshy part of the lamb. Pour over the red wine.

4. Roast the lamb in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4 and roast for a further 45 minutes for medium rare or 30-35 minutes for rare, basting now and then with the wine roasting juices.

5. Remove from the oven and rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

6. To make the gravy, de-glaze the roasting pan – place it on the stovetop, add the stock or water and bring to the boil. Scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to release the flavoursome brown residues so they combine with the liquid.

7. Serve the lamb with the roasting juice gravy on the side.

© Clare Winfield

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

Yes, this is truly a dish for garlic lovers! Pot-roasting the bird makes for tender, flavourful chicken, aromatic with tarragon. Serve the cooked whole garlic cloves with the chicken so that guests can squeeze the softened garlic out of the skins as a rich and tasty accompaniment.

Serves 6


  • 1.8 kg/4 lb free-range chicken
  • 25 g/12 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 40 garlic cloves, separated but unpeeled
  • 100 ml/½ cup vermouth or dry white wine
  • Freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon
  • 200 ml/1 cup good-quality chicken stock
  • A handful of fresh tarragon sprigs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A lidded flame-proof casserole dish, large enough to hold the chicken


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan/skillet. Add the chicken and brown on all sides. Save the pan juices.

3. Meanwhile, heat the casserole dish on the stovetop. Transfer the browned chicken to the casserole dish. Tuck some of the garlic cloves into the cavity, sprinkle the rest around the chicken and pour over the vermouth or wine. Allow to sizzle briefly. then pour in the buttery juices from the frying pan/skillet, the lemon juice and stock. Add the tarragon, placing a few sprigs inside the cavity.

4. Bring to the boil on the stovetop, then cover with the lid and transfer the casserole to the preheated oven. Bake, covered, for I hour 20 minutes – 1 hour 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.

5. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic cloves to the dish. Pour the juices into a serving jug/pitcher to use as a gravy, skimming off any excess fat. Serve the chicken with the garlic cloves and gravy.

© Clare Winfield

Wild garlic ramps salmon en papillote

Cooking fish en papillote, that is wrapped in a parcel, is a great way of retaining both flavour and moisture. This recipe is for salmon, but other fillets of fish, such as sea bass, would also work well. Serve the salmon with new or mashed potatoes and green beans as an elegant dinner party dish.

Serves 4


  • 40 g/3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 10 g/½ oz wild garlic leaves/ramps, finely chopped
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 salmon fillets (each around 175 g/6 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 squares of parchment paper, 30 x 30 cm/ 12 x 12 in.


1. Preheat to oven to 220°C (425°F) Gas 7.

2. Mix together the butter, wild garlic/ramps and lemon zest.

3. Fold each piece of baking parchment in half. Place each salmon fillet, skin-side-down, on one side of the crease in the paper. Season each fillet with salt and pepper. spread with a quarter of the wild garlic/ ramps butter and spoon over a quarter of the wine. Fold the paper over the fillets and crimp the edges together, folding tightly.

4. Place the parcels on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until puffed up. Serve at once, opening each parcel at the table.

From France Today Magazine

Recipes taken from Garlic by Jenny Linford, published by Ryland Peters & Small.

Photography by Clare Winfield.

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