Spring is officially here and along with it comes longer days, warmer weather, and the arrival of some of our favourite herbs, including one you can easily find in the wild: wild garlic. It seemed an apt choice for our herb of the month as April is the time when wild garlic is at its prime. Here are a few top tips for making the most of it.
WHAT IS WILD GARLIC?
Wild garlic is a wild relative of chives that is native to Europe and is commonly found in woodland across Britain. It grows prolifically, but to our benefit as it provides a readily available, easy to forage taste sensation that makes a great change from store-bought garlic or chives.
Wild garlic is a little different from conventional garlic. In fact, it's more like a garlicky chive, so use it appropriately. It's delicious sprinkled on a beautiful spring salad or used in an herby wild garlic pesto. Also try it in pasta dishes, risottos, omelettes, or in soups.
You can even buy a type of cheese, Wild Garlic Yarg, that is wrapped in this pungent herb.
WHERE TO FIND WILD GARLIC?
Wild garlic is widespread across most of Europe and tends to grow in deciduous woodlands with moist soils, preferring slightly acidic condition. In the British Isles, colonies of Wild Garlic are associated with bluebells, especially in ancient woodland, so if you know of an area where bluebells grow, chances are you'll find wild garlic, too!
You can grow wild garlic easily for yourself. Sow the seeds in autumn and don't worry about protecting them through winter - it's a full hardy plant. They tend to be invasive so make sure you dig up the wild garlic bulbs as the leaves come up in spring, otherwise they're liable to take over your garden.
WILD GARLIC RECIPES
Here are a few great reads and recipes to get you started with wild garlic: