I love this wild garlic because not only is it delicious, good for you and cheap, but it’s a sign that summer is well and truly on the way and what can be better?
Wild garlic can be found in our woodlands and hedgerows. The subtle scent of garlic wafts through the area and the luscious green leaves are topped with pretty white flowers. There’s really no need to buy garlic from March through to early May as it’s available for us all for free! Simply pick the leaves, cutting down at the base, give a good wash and you’re ready to go. Please make sure you don’t mistake it for Lords & Ladies or Lily of the Valley though as these are poisonous!! This is more of a problem in early spring when the leaves are just starting to show, you should be able to tell by now so if you’re unsure, steer clear!
We’re surrounded by woodland and dappled shade so it’s easy for me to pop out and pick some fresh each time I need it, but if you live in more urban areas or are busy this will last in a glass of water for about 4 days in the fridge. Alternatively, riverford harvest it sustainably and sensibly to you can buy it through them.
There’s loads of possibilities with wild garlic and my current favourite is slicing up with spring greens and frying it up with butter. So simple and tasty. But a really common use is to make it into pesto which is so simple to do and much healthier than the supermarket kind that’s packed full of salt! You can also batch make this and freeze it for a supply throughout the year.. I add spinach to mine to pack in even more vitamins but you can have it on its own or sub the spinach for things like basil or rocket..
Handful of wild garlic
Handful of spinach (optional, can also sub for rocket for a more peppery flavour)
Pine nuts (can sub for cashews)
Good quality olive oil
Pinch of salt
This couldn’t be easier. Add the leaves and the nuts to the blender along with your anchovies (I add 3 or 4 for every large handful of wild garlic), then add olive oil to gain the consistency you’d like. Add a pinch of sea salt to flavour and serve over hot pasta with a little of the water you cooked the pasta in.
*Tip: If the garlic has started to flower, pick a few of these and add to the top of your dish to decorate. It’s perfectly edible but doesn’t have as much flavour as the leaves!