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Wild Food: Wild Garlic

A farmer's market speciality for anyone to find.

Late April and early May see a carpet of dark green leaves and white flowers spring up across woods and riverbanks. Picking a leaf and crushing it between your fingers releases a heady scent of garlic smell, identifiable to even the most novice of foragers. 

Wild garlic, or ramsons, are an abundant prize for walkers, well worth exploring to find.  With a pleasant pungent flavour, wild garlic is milder than bulb garlic and versatile in cooking.



How to harvest


Take only what you need and avoid over picking wild garlic. Leave behind plenty of intact plants to ensure a harvest the next year. Both the leaves and flower buds are edible, so pick close to the base of the leaf and avoid crushing the leaves by using a basket or an old ice cream tub to transport them home.



Three easy wild garlic recipes:

Pickled Wild Garlic Buds

Separate your wild garlic flower buds from the leaves. Put the leaves to one side for another recipe.

Put the flower heads in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Leave overnight. The next day, rinse the flower heads and pat dry. Put in a clean, sterilised Kilner jar and cover with apple cider vinegar and a sprinkling of sea salt. Leave in a cool, dark place for a couple of weeks, shaking every few days. 

 


Vegan Pesto

150g wild garlic leaves
75g sunflower seeds, toasted
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Olive oil
Lemon

Pulse the washed wild garlic leaves and sunflower seeds in a food processor until roughly chopped. Add the nutritional yeast. With the food processor running, trickle in the olive oil until your pesto reaches the desired consistency. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste.


Wild Garlic Ash

Take the thick stems of wild garlic or the coarser end of season leaves. Lay in a single layer on a baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes at 140c until coffee coloured.

Leave to cool and dry on a clean tray. When cooled and fully dry, grind to a fine powder with a pestle and mortar. Store in a jar for up to a year.

To use - add a teaspoon to bread flour before baking a loaf or mix a quarter of a teaspoon with grated cheese in cheese scones to add a smoky garlic flavour.

 

Learn to Forage Safely

Foraging in the UK offers a unique opportunity to explore the country's diverse ecosystems and enjoy fresh, wild ingredients. Eversfield Organic emphasises the importance of foraging responsibly to ensure both personal safety and ecological health. It's crucial to be equipped with proper identification skills to differentiate between edible plants and their toxic counterparts.

Always forage in safe, unpolluted areas, away from busy roads and possibly contaminated sites. We recommend using trusted guides or apps, and even better, attending workshops or guided foraging walks led by experts.

Remember to adhere to the Countryside Code:

1. Respect nature
2. Leave no trace
3. Only take what you need

By foraging responsibly, you can enjoy the bounty of nature while contributing to the sustainability of the environment.




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