Wild garlic Allium ursinum, also known as ramsons, grows in forests and woody areas in most parts of the northern hemisphere from around March to June. Due to is distinctive smell you can usually smell it before you see it!
Both the leaves and flowers of wild garlic are edible. The leaves can be eaten raw or used in sauces and soups; the flowers, which bloom later in the season, make great additions to salads.
The leaves of wild garlic look very similar to lords and ladies Arum maculatum and lily of the valley Convallaria majalis (pictured),both of which are very poisonous. However neither species smells like garlic.
Although picking wild flowers is generally frowned upon, due to the natural abundance of wild garlic, the removal of a few leaves and flowers from a wide area will not have a detrimental impact.
More foraging recipes by Chris Naylor:
- Wild garlic leaves 80g
- Parmesan grated
- Pine nuts 30g, optional
- Olive oil 3 tbsp
- Lemon juice to taste
Chris Naylor loves fresh air and adventure, and believes any day that doesn’t involve the great outdoors is a missed opportunity. He is passionate about inspiring others to get out into nature and to be curious about the world around them.
This is a recipe from Go Wild: Find freedom and adventure in the great outdoors by Chris Naylor, published by Summersdale.
Main image: Wild garlic pesto. © DUSAN ZIDAR/Shutterstock.com