What to do with wild garlic? Here’s five easy ways to get creative with this delicate yet versatile plant…
After being inspired by one of my fellow foodie friends on Instagram foraging for wild garlic, and consequently making some banging concoctions, I headed out to my local nature reserve to pick my own plants.
I loved playing around with this! And I was really impressed with what I managed to create – none of which were too complex. As you can judge by the smell, a little wild garlic can create a lot of flavour, however it’s still more subtle than your normal garlic clove.
1.Wild Garlic Pesto
This was definitely what inspired me to go foraging myself. Roz from @foodoo_magic_ created a gorgeous looking wild garlic pesto and has very kindly shared the recipe with me. I recreated it myself, and I can vouch for her method – it tastes amazing.
- Approx. 150g fresh wild garlic leaves, rinsed
- 2/3tbsp olive oil
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 50g grated parmesan
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 50g sunflower seeds (Roz used those due to her partner having a nut allergy, pine nuts are traditional but ANY dried nut from the store cupboard works! I used hazelnuts as it’s all I had.)
- Pinch salt and pepper
Chop the wild garlic into small pieces, and pop all of your dry ingredients into a blender. Then add all of your liquids, and blitz it up! It’s really that simple.
If the consistency is a little hard add a little more oil or a splash of water and blitz again.
Roz used hers with some fresh pasta, added a touch of cream to loosen up the pesto (which is exactly how I tested mine out too!) but she also recommends using it when cooking a white fish in a parcel. Or as a real treat, smothered on some crusty artisan bread – this is exactly how I’mma use up the rest of mine!
2. Wild Garlic Mayonnaise
This little number was a real surprise. Mayonnaise takes patience, but this was more than worth it!
- 100g fresh wild garlic, finely chopped
- 400ml vegetable oil or rapeseed oil (anything without a strong taste)
- 3 egg yolks
- 1tsp of dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
After rinsing the wild garlic and chopping it finely, add it into a food processor or blender. Start blitzing, slowly at first for short period as you gradually add your oil to the blender. Get faster and blitz for longer as you get to the end of your oil. Continue until you have a brilliantly vibrant green oil.
Pass the oil through a sieve to get rid of any remaining bits of wild garlic. You should have a pure green oil left over. Pop it into the fridge until you need it.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the mustard until velvety smooth. Whilst you continue to whisk, slowly pour in your garlic oil, too fast or too much at once and you won’t get the thick mayonnaise you need.
Never stop whisking until the oil has been emulsified by the egg yolks.
Goes lovely with fish or seafood, or even for dipping your chips in!
3. Wild Garlic Butter
This one is super simple but absolutely delicious. It can be frozen, meaning it’ll last you a while and is perfect for topping juicy steaks or for melting over crispy roast potatoes.
- 250g of your favourite butter (if it’s not Lurpak, you’re weird)
- 50g fresh wild garlic, finely chopped
- Generous sprinkling of sea salt and cracked black pepper
In a bowl, mash your butter until soft. Add in your garlic, the sea salt and cracked pepper and give a goooood mix. Line up your butter mix onto the middle of a sheet of cling film or baking paper.
Take the end of the cling film closest to you and fold it over the butter, tuck it in under the butter and gently role into a cylinder shape. Once you’ve got a sausage-looking number, twist the ends to pack it in nice and tight!
Then the butter can be frozen or popped into the fridge until you need to chop a bit off.
4. Wild Garlic Hummus
I love hummus, and I love making my own too, experimenting with new flavour combinations. So it was only right that I used some of my freshly foraged wild garlic to whip up some of this chickpea goodness.
- 400g tin of chickpeas, cooked and cooled
- 100g fresh wild garlic, roughly chopped
- 4tbsp of tahini or sesame oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 50ml of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Another simple way to use wild garlic, by sticking all of the ingredients in the blender and blitzing until smooth.
Keep tasting as you get close to the right consistency, adding salt, pepper or even more lemon until you get that gorgeous hummus-y flavour. Perfect with crispy, seedy toast or for dipping carrot sticks as healthy snack.
5. Wild Garlic Oil
This last idea came from one of my lovely followers over on Facebook. She’s been growing it in her garden and decided to add a few leaves to some oil and said it’s quite the number now the flavours are starting to infuse.
I’ve recently been making my own chilli and black pepper oil, so I thought this was the perfect way to use the last of the plant.
I basically heated up around 500ml of olive oil until warm (don’t boil or burn it!) and then chopped up around 50g of wild garlic roughly to release the flavour.
Adding the leaves to the oil and leaving to rest, I strained it after about four days and it’s absolutely delicious! Perfect for bread dipping, glazing a fresh pasta or even a homemade pizza dish – thank you so much, Carol!
There you have it, now you all know what to do with wild garlic.
I think I’ve got a foraging bug too. There’s something quite nice about taking nature’s fresh ingredients and creating something tasty! What else can I forage? Without potentially poisoning myself…?
Lot of love, LB x