Plant of the Week: Alium ursinum

The Edible City by John Rensten

About a year ago, Ant and I went on a foraging course with Martin Bailey. He took us around Blaise Estate and showed us the basics of looking at leaves and identifying edible plants. At the end of February, you can mostly find leafy things and we came to a clearing in a wood that seemed littered with wild garlic leaves.

You can use the whole of the plant but I would say to be a good global citizen try to just pick some leaves that you need and try and leave the bulbs in the ground so they will grow again the following year. It’s important not to go too crazy with picking leaves, a little goes a long way!

Wild garlic has a very strong scent and an equally strong taste so just a handful will do, unless you have a recipe that specifies a lot more then go ahead and fill your boots! These bulb plants like to grow in woodland areas and grow in big clusters together so just be careful you don’t tread on loads.

Ways to eat wild garlic

  • Chop finely like a herb and mix with some soft goats cheese to make a garlicky cheese spread
  • Mix chopped wild garlic with butter and spread on a baguette to make some delicious garlic bread
  • Add it to soups for a herby garlicky hint
  • Blitz with some nuts, oil, lemon, salt and Parmesan for a wild garlic pesto!

Have you ever been foraging for wild garlic? What do you like to do with the leaves you find? I’d love to see your recipes so please do share them in the comments!

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