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
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.