Wild garlic season is in full swing right now, and is one of the safest and most accessible place to start for novice foragers.
I live near a couple of great patches of wild garlic – one in Bute Park, and one in the middle of Thompson’s Park. Today we cycled to the former, spent five minutes stuffing leaves into a carrier bag, and then spent the rest of the day in the kitchen.
If you’re lucky enough to live near a patch, gather up some wild garlic whilst you’re out on your next daily walk / run and use these delicious ways to make it last for weeks to come.*
*But before you get to work on the below, use some of it – freshly washed and chopped – in an asparagus and feta cheese frittata (it’s what we had for lunch today and it was delicious).
THREE WAYS TO PRESERVE WILD GARLIC
1. Wild Garlic Butter
Put 500g of salted butter in a mixing bowl and soften in the microwave for 10 seconds. Chop several handfuls of washed wild garlic as finely as you can, and add this to the butter. Work the garlic into the butter until it is evenly distributed, then spoon the mixture onto a sheet of cling film. Roll up the clingfilm to make a sausage shape and twist the ends. Pop it in the fridge to harden up, or straight in the freezer – you can cut off a chunk as and when you need it.
Good for: stirring through pasta or mashed potatoes, brushing over fish, meat or veg on the BBQ, smothering over a chicken before roasting. You could also stuff lumps of it into a white baguette before cooking to make wild garlic bread.
2. Wild Garlic Oil
Finely chop a large bunch of wild garlic, and pack tightly into your jar / bottle of choice. Cover with olive oil and leave to infuse for a week or so. After that, you can strain the oil through a muslin to remove the bits (if you want to). This should keep in the fridge for about a month.
Good for: dressings, marinades, and adding depth of flavour to soups and stews.
3. Wild Garlic Salt
Finely chop a large bunch of wild garlic and spread across a flat baking sheet. Add enough coarse sea salt to create a thin layer and pop into a low oven (around 160 degrees) for twenty minutes or until the garlic leaves have completely dried out. Remove from the oven and use the back of a fork to crush the dried garlic into tiny pieces and to mix it in with the salt thoroughly. Pour the garlic salt mixture into a jam jar for storage.
Good for: anywhere you’d use sea salt for a savoury flavour. Sprinkle it on meat as you brown it for a stew. Season fish before it goes under the grill or chicken while it bakes. You could also finish sautéed vegetables with garlic salt and chilli flakes for added flavour.
Please only collect wild garlic if you can do it as part of your daily outdoor exercise, and only if you can safely do so in your local area, without unnecessary travel. For the latest Covid-19 social distancing advice, please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do.