Today whilst out walking the dogs I saw the first leaves of wild garlic peeping through the cold, wet soil alongside the footpath. For me this heralds the start of the foraging season and their appearance is something I eagerly await. I love their pungent smell yet mild flavour and for the next couple of months will be adding them to all sorts of recipes.
|Wild Garlic Leaves|
Some of my favourite recipes include:
Wild garlic omelette - if you can get hold of duck eggs for the omelette they go so well with the garlic
Topping for home-made pizzas
Thrown into stews at the last minute for a sweet garlicky flavour
Wild garlic pesto
Wild and Leek Garlic Risotto
Ingredients (Serves 4 as a main course or 6-8 as a starter)
4 large leeks
500g risotto rice
Up to 2 litre of hot chicken or vegetable stock
Large handful wild garlic leaves, roughly chopped if large
100g cheese of your choice - grated cheddar and Parmesan are both good or a mix of whatever cheeses you have.
1. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan
2. Meanwhile cut the cleaned leeks into 3cm pieces. You can include some of the green part as well as all the white and the remaining green parts can be used to make veg stock.
3. Sauté the leeks in the butter until soft
4. Pour in the rice and stir to ensure each grain is covered in butter.
5. Add approx 100ml of stock and stir until absorbed.
5. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked
7. Once cooked stir in the wild garlic leaves and then the cheese
8. Serve with a green salad
- If you have never foraged for wild garlic be sure that you know what you are picking. The leaves will have a noticeable garlic smell.
- If you are at all unsure do not pick the leaves. There are various leaves that are similar in appearance and some are poisonous. In the top picture the spotty leaves at the base of the garlic are Lords and Ladies (Arum maculatum) which are poisonous.
- Only pick a few leaves from any one place and only then if leaves are plentiful.
- If on private property seek permission from the owner before foraging.
- Do not pick leaves that are very close to busy roads and you may want to avoid areas where many dogs are walked!
Do you cook with wild garlic? If so I would love to know how you use it - we have so much here it seems a waste not to cook with it even more.