After much anticipation, Wild Garlic or Ransoms are in season. We first discovered tender green shoots peeping through the last snowfall a couple of weeks ago. Now that the milder weather is here, this rampant Allium can be found in deciduous woodland and beneath shady hedgerows. You are most likely to initially stumble across it with your sense of smell. It fills the air with the heady aroma of freshly chopped chives combined with wet garlic. Forage carefully, making sure that you have clearly identified the edible leaves rather than the poisonous Lily of the Valley which has similar broad leaves and always seek the landowners permission if necessary.
Wash leaves well and add to your favourite spring recipes:
- Chop finely and add to scrambled eggs just before serving or fold into a cheese omelette.
- Blitz with peas and lettuce and homemade stock for a springtime soup.
- Puree with a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of mustard to make a glaze for chicken or pork.
- Sweat finely sliced leeks in butter then combine with shredded wild garlic and pasta for supper.
- Roughly chop with wilted spinach leaves, squeeze dry and fold in egg whites for a savoury roulade.
- Simply add fresh leaves to a cheese ‘toastie’ before grilling.
- Add to zest of lemon and softened butter to garnish purple sprouting broccoli or baste poultry dishes.
- Sprinkle wild garlic flowers over a bowl of salad leaves.
- Wrap whole leaves around chicken breasts or fish, followed by a slice or two of Parma ham before pan frying.
- Combine with sorrel, chervil, olive oil and pine nuts for a vibrant pistou to drizzle over roasted vegetables.