So word is getting around that I am very interested in plants and cooking with wild food, I have currently three books on the go all about wild cooking and a mountain of ideas! I was told there was some wild garlic growing in the garden which apart from the initial idea of soup I didn’t really know what else I should do with it, so I had a little research for some cool dishes! I did a little research on the plant too and was very suprised to find out how this plant can be mixed up with another poisonous plant called Lily-of-the-Valley. This can happen when the flowers aren’t in bloom which being at the beginning of spring they aren’t. The main thing that distinguishes this plant from anything else is that it smells very strongly of onion and garlic! Their leaves are also formed differently I noticed after researching, but to be on the safe side I double checked with the garden owner. Pesto seemed to be the most simple, popular recipe with just a few basic ingredients that we already had in the cupboard so I thought why not give it a go.
Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) also known as Ramsons have beautiful long green leaves and you can usually smell them before you spot them as they have a very strong onion/garlic scent. When raw they are quite strong to eat that are similar to chives, cooking them helps reduce the flavour. You will find Wild Garlic in woodland areas and damp places.
TOP TIPS FOR PICKING WILD GARLIC
- Make sure you can identify wild garlic by an experienced forager, they can be identified by their leaves and distinct smell but can potentially be mixed up with similar looking poisonous plants.
- Ask permission to pick and do not remove bulbs from the ground as they will not grow back.
- Thoroughly wash leaves thoroughly before use
- You can eat all of the plant including the flowers when in bloom.
- Cook leaves and treat like spinach if you prefer a milder flavour.
WILD GARLIC PESTO
100g Raw Wild Garlic leaves
50g Cashews (Pine nuts or whatever you prefer)
100ml Olive Oil
- Chop up the washed Wild Garlic leaves into relatively small pieces.
- Place the nuts and parmesan with the leaves and use a blender to break it all down.
- Introduce olive oil gradually until you have your preferred consistency.
- Add some black pepper to finish.
- Use as a sauce or as to add a bit of flavour to your dish.
- Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.