Natural Health Benefits Of Wild Garlic

wonderful ways to use it in your diet

If you are out and about in nature, why not look out for some wild garlic to forage? Wild garlic grows commonly in woodland and you can smell it when walking in late spring. Look for the characteristic large dark green leaves and cluster heads of white flowers. It is best picked when in bud, before the flowers come out (when it can start to taste bitter. Crush a leaf between your fingers and look for that characteristic garlic smell. 

Be careful not to forage in polluted areas, and be sure to ask permission if you are foraging on private property. Leave enough for other foragers and so it can regrow. If you are not sure that the plant is indeed wild garlic, check with an experienced forager, as it can be confused with the lighter green lily of the valley leaves, which can be poisonous. 

Some organic box schemes like Riverford Organic and Abel and Cole sell fresh wild garlic in late spring. Wild garlic can be frozen for year-round use, but like most things, it is at it’s best when eaten fresh and in season. 

wild garlic recipes 

wild garlic butter:  It is as easy as it gets to make your own garlic butter, and wild garlic is no different. Simply mix a pack of softened organic butter with 50g of wild garlic leaves and buds in a blender. It can be used to flavour cooked vegetables, to top steak, for making garlic chicken or stirred through noodles. It can be easily frozen in jars or in pats of butter stored in greaseproof paper. 

wild garlic pesto.  Add 100g of wild garlic to 50g parmesan, 50g toasted pine nuts and 2tbsp olive oil. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and salt if needed (parmesan cheese is salty so you may not need this). Use as you would regular pesto, on noodles or as a topping for chicken or other meat or fish. 

wild garlic mayonnaise. This is even better than regular fresh aioli! You’ll need 100g of wild garlic, 450ml organic rapeseed oil, 3 egg yolks, 1tsp English mustard, 2tsp white wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. 

Blanch the wild garlic for 30 seconds in a pan of salted boiling water. Drain and pat dry with some kitchen towel. Blend in a blender with the rapeseed oil, until bright green. Pass through a fine sieve. Then whisk the egg yolks, mustard and vinegar together until smooth and slowly pour in the oil, whisking continuously (You can do this using a stick blender for ease). Keep whisking until the mayonnaise thickens, then add salt and pepper to taste. Fresh aioli will keep stored in the fridge for up to a week.

wild garlic mushrooms. Use your wild garlic butter to fry slices of mushrooms over a medium heat, until crispy and delicious. Serve with a dollop of wild garlic butter on top!

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