I love this time of year, a bit of warmth from the sun and all the goodness buried beneath the earth bursts forth and fills the air with heavenly scents and promises of gorgeous goodies for the kitchen and table. One of the things I love to make is wild garlic oil.
Wild garlic is one of my favourite foraging finds that grows all around this area in the shade of the trees. Oh the smell as you walk past, it takes me right back to being a kid again and walking down the hill to the stables for my riding lessons.
The whole side of the lane was just covered in wild garlic and the smell enveloped me as I rushed down the hill full of excitement and anticipation for this weekly treat.
Now, whenever I smell this gorgeous greenery I feel a lift to the spirits and I think of that little girl and her horsey dreams.
This is a classic spring time recipes, for more spring recipes check out my whole section on spring recipes.
What is wild garlic
This plant is a British native and has a few other names just to confuse people. It can be called bear leek, bear’s garlic, broad-leafed garlic, wood garlic, buckrams and also ramsons.
It grows in woodland and likes shady spots. You will find the leaves popping out of the ground from March onwards and the gorgeous white flowers appearing in April and May.
You can eat both leaves and flowers of wild garlic.
This is most definitely a plant that ticks all the boxes, enough to make many a plant feel just a tad inadequate by comparison; Not only is it aromatic with a heady scent that fairly rocks the senses, but it is blessed with stunning good looks too.
Those white star bursts of tiny flowers clustered on each stem like fireworks in the soft green gloom.
What does wild garlic taste like? Taste, well it goes without saying that if you like garlic you will love this plant, And good for you, yes just like garlic this is a power packed plant.
Using wild garlic
Of course, you can just chop up the leaves and add them to salads for a nice garlicy punch, and use those pretty flowers for an edible decoration too of course, but you can also make some tasty larder goodies too.
Like my Wild Garlic Pesto to power up your pasta dishes and add to soups and sandwiches that I made last year, or try this wonderful Wild Garlic Oil that is a cinch to make and will liven up those salad dressings and homemade mayo like a dream.
How to make wild garlic oil
All you need to make Wild Garlic Oil is a big handful of wild garlic leaves, 500ml (or enough to fill your chosen jar) of olive oil and a sterilised jam jar with a screw top lid.
To make your Wild Garlic Oil simply rinse off the leaves and pat dry on kitchen paper and then roughly chop to release all that taste and flavour.
Put the chopped leaves into your jar and pack in as many as possible.
Pour in the olive oil to fill the jar and screw on the lid.
Give it a good shake and store in a cool dark cupboard for 2 weeks giving it a shake every day or so.
After 2 weeks strain the oil through a sieve lined with a piece of cheesecloth/muslin/kitchen paper into a jug and then pour into a sterilised bottle.
How long will wild garlic oil keep?
Store this in the fridge and use within 3 weeks.
Looking for more fun foraging recipe ideas? Then check these out before you go;
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Wild Garlic Oil
- 1 cup wild garlic leaves
- 500 ml olive oil
- Rinse leaves and pat dry on kitchen paper before roughly chopping.
- Pack the chopped leaves into a sterilised jar.
- Top up the jar with olive oil.
- Pop on a secure lid and shake well.
- Set aside in a cool dark cupboard for 2 weeks shaking every day or so.
- Strain the oil through a sieve lined with muslin/cheesecloth or paper towels.
- Decant into a sterilised bottle.
- Store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.