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Recipe  •  1 April 2024


Cucumber, Pickled Wild Garlic Oil, Thick Yogurt, Walnuts, and Honey

A healthy and mouth-watering traditional North Macedonian dish, packed with flavour.

Go wild garlic picking! Found in shady woods and by marshes, you'll discover these sweet leaves in glorious abundance between the end of winter and the beginning of summer, so make your oil when you can. Sweeter than regular garlic, wild garlic carries notes of dewy spring fields, forests, and marshes. Although it's the buds that are usually pickled, this recipe is totally unique and tried, tested, and enjoyed by many of my customers. It's punchy and a little goes a long way.

Pickling the leaves takes three days and the yogurt takes 24 hours to strain, so this is one to prep in advance.

Serves: 4
Creates: about 500ml (16fl oz) oil


For the picked wild garlic oil:

  • 120g (4¼oz) wild garlic leaves, roughly chopped
  • 150g (5½oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 250ml (9fl oz) white wine vinegar
  • 150ml (5fl oz) olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

For the salad:

  • 300g (10oz) full-fat yogurt
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into ribbons
  • 200g (7oz) ground walnuts
  • 50ml (1¾fl oz) runny honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the wild garlic oil, first pickle the leaves. Combine the leaves, sugar, salt, and vinegar in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes or until fully incorporated. Set aside to cool completely.

  2. Transfer the garlic mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and place in the fridge for 3 days.

  3. Drain the garlic mixture through a fine sieve, discarding the liquid. Transfer to a blender or food processor, add the olive oil and blend to combine. The oil can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container or 6 months in a sterilized jar (see page 21).

  4. To make the salad, first strain the yogurt. Line a fine mesh sieve with muslin (cheesecloth) and place over a bowl. Place the yogurt into the sieve and refrigerate for 24 hours.

  5. Transfer the yogurt to a bowl, season well, and drizzle with olive oil.

  6. To serve, cover the bottom of a serving dish with the yogurt. Arrange the cucumber on the dish and season lightly with salt. Drizzle with the wild garlic oil, sprinkle over the walnuts and finish with the honey.

Feature Title

Join Spasia Dinkovski on an evocative journey across North Macedonia
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