Wild garlic is a common site on woodland walks at the moment…but foraging for this delicious herb and adding it into your food is a great idea for health…learn why
Look for the characteristic large dark green leaves and cluster heads of white flowers. It is best picked when in bud before the flowers come out (when it can taste bitter) crush a leaf between fingers for the characteristic smell. Be careful not to forage in polluted areas and ask permission where necessary, leave enough for other foragers and so it can regrow. If unsure make sure to ask an experienced forager and avoid confusion with the lighter green lily of the valley leaves which can be poisonous. The organic box schemes like Riverford and Abel and cole sell wild garlic fresh in late spring and it can be frozen to use in winter (although it is good to eat seasonally in traditional chinese medicine and we enjoy looking forward to it in spring).
WILD GARLIC RECIPES
Wild garlic butter – super-easy and heavenly wild garlic butter (add 1 pack of raw butter to 50g of wild garlic leaves and buds and blend in a blender). It can go on cooked veg, steak, noodles and is delicious. I freeze a couple of jars for winter cravings!
Wild garlic pesto – Add 100g of wild garlic to 50g parmesan, 50g toasted pine nuts and 2 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice and olive oil to taste. Use like standard pesto great on noodles with chicken and toasted almonds or pine nuts and extra parmesan added on top.
Wild Garlic Mayo – Better than standard aioli! 100g wild garlic, 450mls rapeseed oil (organic), 3 egg yolks, 1tsp english mustard, 2 tsp white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Blanch wild garlic for 30seconds in a pan of salted boiling water drain and pat with kitchen towel. Blend in blender with rapeseed oil until bright green. Pass through a fine sieve. Whisk egg yolks, mustard and vinegar together until smooth and slowly pour in oil continuously whisking. Keep whisking till nice mayo texture – add salt and pepper to taste.
Wild garlic mushrooms – Use your wild garlic butter to fry slices of mushrooms on a medium heat until crispy and delicious. Serve with a dollop of wild garlic butter on top!