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Wild garlic

Posted: Tuesday 22 April 2014
by James Alexander-Sinclair

If you go down to the woods today, you might notice a rather distinct oniony smell among the unfurling leaves and the bluebells.


If you go down to the woods today, you might notice a rather distinct oniony smell among the unfurling leaves and the bluebells.

It's the scent of wild garlic. You'll recognise it from its wide, soft, easily bruised leaves and small white flowers. Its botanical name is Allium ursinum - the classicists and astronomers among you will recognise the word 'ursinum' as having something to do with bears. This is because bears (and wild boars, incidentally) love the bulbs of wild garlic and are inclined to dig them up.

Wild garlic is also known as 'buckrams', 'bear leek' and 'ramsons'. It's a great favourite among foragers. Wild garlic leaves and flowers can be used in soups or salads, or as flavouring in quiches. They also make a good alternative to basil in pesto sauce.

If you really want to get your foraging off to a flying start this spring, then try Wild Garlic and Nettle Soup.

You'll need:

1 ltr vegetable stock

350g of wild garlic

1 small leek

1.8kg of young stinging nettles (just the tops)

250ml of sour cream

50g of small pasta shapes (cooked)

Bring stock to simmer then add the wild garlic, the leek (chopped) and the nettles.

Cook for about ten minutes. When cool, put it through a blender.

Add the sour cream and blend together.

Return to heat and add pasta.

Et voila…

When harvesting, be careful as the leaves can sometimes be mistaken for lily of the valley or arum leaves, both of which are highly poisonous. If in doubt, sniff the leaves: the real McCoy will be unmistakably garlicky.



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Talkback: Wild garlic
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veggiepatch1 23/04/2014 at 12:49

I am still waiting for our wild garlic to grow in the woods. I love eating wild garlic raw - lovely on toast or just on their own or in a salad as the taste is so much milder than garlic cloves.

oldchippy 23/04/2014 at 17:45

I thought wild plants were protected against being picked,maybe I'm wrong!!!

SwissSue 23/04/2014 at 18:27

The way wild garlic spreads, I doubt if someone picking a few leaves will do any harm!

CharleyD 23/04/2014 at 19:16

Not sure about UK law but Manx law states that you can pick wild flowers etc but not dig them up.  I agree with Swiss Sue though, I think trying to stop it spreading is more of a problem. 

Edd 23/04/2014 at 19:21

OK. New pallet have been acquired from round the corner, now and back home with extra weigh in clothes. Photos to follow as its a new pallet and a bit different. The good thing is its as clean as a whistle and there is another one to pick up.

 

The construction is different and i'm thinking this would be better off on the pallet thread.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/43277.jpg?width=274&height=350&mode=max

 Look keen as a whistle.

Look closer ?

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/43279.jpg?width=274&height=350&mode=max

 Huge staples. They are hard to get out!!!

OH. hello, what is this???

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/43280.jpg?width=274&height=350&mode=max

 Is that chip board inbetween!!!!! It must be so hard to cut through, and leave me with all those clean boards. 

Lets pray for many more.

Regards

Edd.

Pics of new outside chair/ couch  to come. Its just not completed yes so bear with me please. I went with the same colour as Doves new fence. The only problem is i can only get small left over quantities for free and will have to save it all up. (thing it was sea grass green) lovely colour when i get there. Thanks Dove.

Kind regards.

Edd.

 

 

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