For anyone lucky enough to have wild garlic in their garden, our National Park Guide Breandan has shared some information about this wonderful plant and a lovely recipe for wild garlic pesto.
One of the joys of spring, is the sight and smell of wild garlic in damp woodlands. Wild garlic (Allium ursinum), is an amazing and beautiful, plant, all of it can be eaten raw or cooked.
The starry white flowers are great in salad, and the green seeds which follow these flowers, work very well in stir-fries, or can be added to salad. The dark green leaves can be added to soups, quiches and sauces, are also good in salad and make wonderful pesto.
When cooking with wild garlic, you need a lot of leaves, as they tend to lose their flavour in comparison to other garlic. I team them up with nettles for a great and healthy soup.
When gathering any wild plant, be careful that first of all it is legal, then that it is safe to do so. I tend not to take anything from beside a road, as there may be a lot of pollution from cars. I also watch out for signs of domestic animals. And with all wild plants you should wash everything well.
Wild garlic may be planted in your garden, but it needs damp ground and grows best in shade. It is very invasive, so be careful that it does not take over your garden.
Ingredients: 120g grated parmesan cheese, 350ml extra virgin olive oil, 100g pine nuts, 200g of wild garlic leaves, stems cut off, washed and dried. Sea salt and black pepper to taste.
Recipe: Put everything, bar the salt and pepper into a blender. Whizz and add seasoning to taste. Put into a bowl or jar and pour a drop of oil on top. Will last for a week, if you don’t eat it all at once!