Saturday, 4 April 2009

Wild Garlic from cradle to grave

Although the flowers haven't appeared yet the local wild garlic is good to harvest. As you can hopefully make out from the pictures wild garlic has long leaves, broad in the bottom and pointed at the top. They are arranged in a circle around the flowers. And they smell like garlic. Ours where found in Cockington along the path that runs behind the church.

It's better for the plant if you pick a one or two leaves from each plant instead of harvesting the entire plant. However people dealing with it in their gardens generally want to give you the entire thing. They beg, in fact. Don't know why. Take it home as soon as you can. If using for salads you should keep in mind that it wilts quickly when left out. Bag it and pop it in the fridge if you aren't going to use it straight away.

When they are out you can also harvest the flowers.

If of unknown pedigree wash your wild garlic. It could have several things on it. Like caterpillar poo.

Wild garlic pesto

  • around 10 leaves (about two cups)
  • 1/2 clove of garlic (optional)
  • 4 whole walnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil.

1. Place in a blender.
2. Blend.

And so I ate Wild Garlic Pesto and pasta for tea. It's a spelt flour pasta with peppers and olives. I only used half the quantity of pesto, the rest is in my freezer for future use. If you are going out to pick your own do use common sense when it comes to identifying it, respecting other peoples property and respecting it's place in the local environment.

For other cooking idea Raw Rob has a selection of recipes (not cooked), Fergus Drennan has some soup, Riverford has a gratin with potato and leeks (neither vegan), UKTV food has a salad (not vegetarian but replacing the chicken stock isn't hard)

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