As the days get warmer and longer, a bounty of wild, foraged produce starts coming into season. Few things say ‘spring’ more than wild leaves and shoots. Their vibrant yet delicate appearance and their fresh, fragrant taste embody it in all its aspects and characteristics. Wild garlic is one such leaf, and its season is keenly awaited every year by chefs and home cooks alike.
The season of wild garlic ranges between March and May, depending on the weather. We source it from our co-operative partner The Good Earth Growers in Cornwall. There, garlic leaves are allowed to grow naturally and in abundance, without any forcing or intervention, and are foraged as soon as they reach the right size – as tender and aromatic as they get.
Unlike common garlic bulbs, only the leaves of wild garlic are edible. At the beginning of the season, these are small and tender, and they are fantastic enjoyed raw. As the season progresses, small white flowers will start to appear among the leaves – these are also edible and make for a pretty addition to any dish. The flavour of wild garlic, although strong, is much more delicate than common garlic; its aroma, however, is very close to fresh garlic, which makes it easy to recognize in the wild.
Wild garlic leaves are extremely versatile, and can be used instead of rocket or herbs to add flavour, or to give a delicious, spring-like twist to a variety of seasonal dishes. Enjoy them in soups and risotto; on top of freshly scrambled eggs; mixed with ricotta for stuffing ravioli or cannelloni; and even inside fresh gnocchi and mashed potatoes. Try this recipe for Roasted Tomato and Garlic Bruschetta for a lazy lunch.
On their own, they are great finely chopped and sprinkled on pasta sauce; turned into sauces to go with fish or poultry, or for flavouring oils or homemade butters. They are also excellent for making fresh pesto.
Naomi, PR and Social Media Executive