Chunky spears of white asparagus and Jersey Royals mark the arrival of Spring which, is also the impossibly short season of ramsons with their pronounced onion flavour and unique garlic odor. This rare delicacy grows wild throughout Western and Central Europe, the smoothly elegant light green leaves at their peak in April though if you are foraging, be sure not to confused them with (poisonous) lily-of-the-valley. Ramsons, ‘allium ursinum’, are a wild relative of chives and commonly known as wild garlic or ‘Ail des Ours’ (Bear’s garlic) in French and though they are similar, there are subtle differences between them and their North American cousin, ramps, ‘allium tricoccum’. In essence, ramps don’t flower until the leaves have gone whilst ramson flowers are more developed and grow with the leaves and though edible, if too many flowers are present it signals older, less tender leaves.

Raw, the leaves are at their most pungent and fiery; shred into salads or grind with almonds and olive oil to make flavoursome pesto. Blanch in boiling water or wilt in oil, pairing the tangle of dark green leaves with other spring ingredients such as asparagus or new potatoes. A versatile ingredient, think spinach or spring onion and add to soups, wilt alongside fried or scrambled eggs, omeletts, frittata, risotto and potato dishes...

This tart was made from ingredients that happened to be in my larder; soft goats cheese could replace the feta and the mushrooms could be exchanged for tender slivers of asparagus.

Feta, Mushroom & Ramsons Tart

Roll out a 250g pack of ready-made puff pastry to fit a standard sized baking sheet.

Meanwhile, sauté a finely sliced onion in a little olive oil before adding the ramsons for the last 3 or 4 minutes; crumble a 180g block of feta cheese into a mixing jug, beating in 2 eggs and a little seasoning. Half and finely slice a handful of mushrooms.

Spread the feta mixture over the pastry before evenly scattering the vegetables. Finish with a sprinkle of herbs, sea salt and pepper before baking in a preheated oven at 200°C for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the filling has set.