Monday, 25 April 2011

Wild Garlic Girl

'Enough with the wild garlic recipes' I hear you, I hear you, but I just can't resist.  Its there at every green place I go to right now and then I am tempted to pick a little each time... 

You have to give me some credit though; and perhaps even crown me with a wild weed garland as this years 'Wild Garlic Girl', that is of course if two inspirational people I admire from afar don't mind: Denis Cotter, author of Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me (whose new cookbook 'For the Love of Food' is on my cookbook wish list) and Mat Follas - Masterchef Winner 2009 and owner of the restaurant  TheWild Garlic.

The truth behind my interest in Wild Garlic (also known allium ursinum, broad leaved garlic, bear's garlic, buckrams, devil's garlic, gypsy's onions, ramsons and wood garlic) is really simple. Wild Garlic marks the beginning of foraging season; and this year I've found a number of locations where I can easily get my mitts on them. Foraging is thrift and frugal too; and not that I fall into that category, but foraging is also very chic right now. City girls and boys in wellies (I'm a townie by the way) can be found foraging for free wild food up and down the country.  I jumped on this bandwagon many years ago because I genuinely wanted to learn more about seasonal and local ingredients.  Much of it is self taught and I am still learning each and every day.
Every day this week at least one plate has included wild garlic, and I've enjoyed every mouthful. I hate to admit this, but as much as stinging nettle is my favourite wild weed to eat, I don't think I'll be playing creatively in the culinary sense with it this year as my efforts have gone quite heavily into the wild garlic, but you never know - there is a frugal side of me and a greedy side of me and there may be stinging nettle recipes aplenty.

Right now the free food hunter in me is taking full advantage of the abundant wild garlic.
As well as the previous Wild Garlic recipes, I've made a few jars of Wild Garlic and Walnut Pesto that have been well covered with olive oil.  I am hoping  I can enjoy this wild garlicky goodness throughout the year.
I am a little nervous as one or two jams and jellies I've made in the past have turned a little blue. I am hoping this will not happen to these jars. I have read that some people make pesto and store them in their refrigerator, even deep freezer. I would do that too, but I don't have much room to give over. So I will just have to monitor them at every opportunity.  If they turn out good , there will be plenty of presto pasta on the fast food menu.  If not - a lot of olive oil and walnuts have been wasted and destined for the sink.  Hope for me that its not the latter, because then I won't have any Wild Garlic pesto inspired recipes to share with you.


  1. If you start calling it ramsons nobody will know you're still talking about the same thing!

  2. Well, I love pesto, so I hope that it turns out great.

  3. Yes, you are definitely my Queen of wild garlic!
    Love the look of your pesto - I'm sure it will be fine - fingers crossed.

  4. I love the wild garlic recipes! They all sound delicious to me.

  5. I'm loving all the wild garlic recipes - especially the pakoras!

    I love wild garlic season.

  6. Thanks MorningAJ.
    Your right.

    Thank you yummychunklet.

    Thank you Louise.
    Queen of wild garlic - wow - I appreciate the compliment.

  7. Thank you so much Mama.

    Thank you Hannah.
    The pakoras were especially good!

  8. how to tell difference between Wild Garlic and Lily of valley ?

  9. Anon,
    Yes they do look similar and i have written on this topic before. Rather than repeat the difference here, my advice to you is either to take an experienced forager with you; or do your research beforehand (plenty of information on the World Wide Web); and if you don't know what your picking Just Don't pick any wild weeds.


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