Wild Garlic – How to use it

wildgarlicMarch2016

Our Morghew Park Wild Garlic

Wild garlic is prolific at this time of year, if you know what you are looking for and have time to don your wellies and head out into the countryside for the few weeks it is around.

The first bit is the easy bit – it’s easy to find as you can smell the gentle whiff of garlic in the air – but if time is not your friend, then heading out to shady woods before everyone else has got there first, might not work for you.

Our garlic is foraged on the private Morghew estate by the owners, so there is no risk to the environment by stripping the woodland.  Morghew Estate is set in the most stunning woodland and arable land (where our potatoes are grown, by the way) and is managed sensitively and responsibly.

NB: If you do forage, then please beware that wild garlic does look a little like the toxic Lily of the Valley. If you’ve seen Breaking Bad, then you’ll know the result of eating this!  Wild garlic does smell very pungently of garlic though – so that is a pointer in the right direction and make sure you crush some leaves between your fingers before picking, just to be sure.

Wild Garlic is good for you!

The health benefits of whole garlic cloves are well known.  Likewise, wild garlic has antibacterial and antiseptic properties and apparently studies show it may reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.

Traditionally it was used to treat colds and bronchitis, so on the whole making this a perfect winter leaf.


10 Ways of Using Wild Garlic

No 1.  With Eggs

Wild garlic and eggs partner naturally together.  Try just chopping finely into buttery scrambled eggs or try this Wild Garlic and Ricotta Frittata which would be fabulous as a Sunday salad.

No 2.  Pesto

This was our first choice the other day and we were very proud to have made a 100% Sussex pesto with wild garlic from Morghew, the remainder of last season’s cobnuts from Ringden Farm, Twineham Grange vegetarian parmesan and Mesto olive oil (which technically is produced in Crete, although Cate and Vasilis tend the trees themselves on the family farm and bring it back to Brighton – so that counts as local).  Anyway, we plastered our pics on Facebook but here is a recipe with quantities for you.

No 3. Wild Garlic Butter

wild_garlic_butter

Delicious on crusty fresh bread or flatbreads.  Need we say more – slather on a jacket potato or absolutely anything else.  Here’s a lovely foolproof recipe.

No 4. Wild Garlic and Potato Soup

A change from leek and potato with a lively Spring taste and a bit of a kick.  This is a tasty and easy recipe from Delicious Magazine.

No 5.  Wild Garlic Crust

From Great British Chefs:  James Mackenzie’s wild garlic crust is an ingenious and simple way to inject some spring into your meals, and can be used to add a wonderfully aromatic wild garlic tang to a variety of dishes. This recipe is from his Wild rabbit, langoustine and Jerusalem artichoke crumble, a dish fit for any dinner party feast…But equally, the crust works with chicken or strong fish.

Recipe: Add 100g of white breadcrumbs, a handful of parsley leaves and 6 finely shredded wild garlic leaves to a food processor. Blitz until evenly green, add to a bowl and stir through 50g of melted butter and 50g of finely grated Parmesan to resemble a crumble. Use the crumb to sprinkle over gratins or bakes, then pop under the grill to finish.

No 6. Wild Garlic Mayonnaise

This makes a perfect sandwich on sourdough bread, with avocado, mozzarella and tomato.  A perfect recipe and glorious green mayo, although we would probably replace the rapeseed oil with olive oil.  See it here.

No 7.  Wild Garlic, Parmesan and Celeriac Tartlets

Now these don’t actually sound delicious but the pureed filling, whipped with cream and egg, is delicately flavoured and would work very well with a punchy salad of rocket and cress.  See Frances Atkins’ recipe here from Great British Chefs.

tart

No 8.  Blanch or Wilt Like Spinach

In fact, use as you would spinach, if you have enough garlic.  The strong raw flavour is tempered with cooking and retains a hint of garlic piquancy. Always wash thoroughly before use and after blanching, plunge into iced water to keep the vibrant colour.

No 9.  Toasted Linguine with Wild Garlic and Almonds

This sounded so eatable, we had to give it a go as soon as we saw the recipe.  The linguine really does develop a delicious nutty flavour – will definitely be toasting again!  See Rosie Syke’s Guardian recipe here.

No 10.Wild Garlic Risotto

Another dreamy combination of parmesan and wild garlic – gently simmered with soothing rice. Easy and delicious.  Here’s the recipe.

Lastly..

Lastly, this is a traditional cough medicine based on an old Celtic tradition of using garlic to treat colds:

Take a handful of it and boil in 2 quarts of spring water until half the water is consumed; strain and add a quart of honey to make a syrup. A spoonful will infallibly cure any cough, asthma or shortness of breath”.

This seems really sensible but they also suggested passing the sufferer under the belly of a piebald horse….We will stick to honey and garlic, thanks.

Visit us at our website www.finandfarm.co.uk

 

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Wild Garlic – How to use it

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