It’s out there, it’s abundant, it’s full of flavour and it’s free. It is Wild Garlic.
Large clumps of it grow on river banks, in corners of fields and in woodlands.
The star-like flowers beckon from a distance.
The flowers look like they could be at home in a posy vase, but, as soon a you pull one of them, the garlic aroma permeates the air. Not, then, a flower for display, but one for eating, cooked or uncooked.
Where to Use
Described as both a vegetable and a herb, the flowers and leaves of this plant can be used everywhere clove garlic is used. In cooking, add both to soups, mashed potato, stews, omelettes, curries and Italian dishes. Uncooked, add the flowers to salads, chop the flowers and young leaves into dips or use the leaves in place of basil, to make an excellent pesto. While having the flavour of clove garlic, wild garlic has a mellow freshness of its own. The younger leaves and flowers are also that bit more subtle.
Please note, that when adding to a hot dish, best results occur when it is added in the final cooking stages.
All garlic is known for its antioxident and anti-inflammatory properties. It, also, seems beneficially effective in the treatment of colic, diarrhoea, wind and loss of appetite. In addition, studies have shown that Wild Garlic is particularly effective for the treatment of High Blood Pressure. This, apparently, is due to the high sulphur content of Wild Garlic. (Ref – The Cardioprotective Actions of Wild Garlic, Rietz & Others; Mol Cell Biochem 1993)