It is that time of year again. As you walk the woodland paths you smell the scent of garlic as your feet crush the wild garlic leaves beneath you.
Wild garlic, also known as Allium ursinum or ramsons, is a perennial plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a member of the Allium family, which includes onions, leeks, and chives. It takes advantage of the early spring sun blooming before the canopy blocks out the light.
Wild garlic has been used for centuries for both culinary and medicinal purposes.
One of the main benefits of wild garlic is its high nutritional content. It is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as minerals such as iron and magnesium.
It has a long history of use in traditional medicine. It has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory infections, digestive issues, and skin conditions. Some studies have also suggested that wild garlic may have antiviral properties and could be effective against certain types of viruses.
We particularly love wild garlic because of its benefits for our skin. As a purifier it supports detoxification in the body giving us a healthy glow and its sulfur compounds have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties reducing redness or irritation. These compounds may help it to reduce the risk of certain diseases in the body such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
In terms of culinary uses, wild garlic has a strong, pungent flavour that is similar to regular garlic but with a slightly milder taste. It can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, and sauces. Wild garlic leaves can also be used in salads or as a garnish.
Here is our favourite recipe for wild garlic pesto:
150g of wild garlic leaves
25g young nettle leaves
50g parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove finely chopped
½ lemon zested with a few squeezes of juice
50g toasted cashew nuts
150ml of olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.
Transfer to a clean jam jar and keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.
Use on pasta, in salad dressings or in sandwich fillings.