I love the idea of foraging – it’s outdoors, it’s free food and I can do caveman impressions. So Talitha and I headed into the nearby woods to hunt for some wild garlic which I heard was in abundance in early spring.
Wild garlic loves shade and we have some dense woodland very near us and it turned out there was loads of it.
The Lakota Sioux proverb says ‘Search until you find the plant you want, but don’t pick it until you find another cluster of the same plant. Only then can you forage – ensuring no plant becomes extinct through over-harvesting.’. We didn’t have to worry about that one. It’s so easy to find as you can definitely smell the quite incongruous aroma.
Talitha really got into it. As it absolutely takes over she was able to just pick with abandon. The only thing you have to worry about it snow drops, which can be dangerous and grow with wild garlic.
We moved on eventually to find another some more as I wanted to see if she could find it her self, she recognised the flower and the leaves straight away in other spots.
As soon as I got home I boshed it in some water for 5 minutes, to clean it and to preserve it. It keeps for about a week in the fridge, so I’m told. Wild garlic can be used as a great base for stews and curry’s instead of onion. So we did just that for a Trinidadian goat curry we were making. When cooked as a base the garlic taste tends to disappear so you don’t have to worry about using loads of it, especially as it shrinks like spinach. If you want a bit of the flavour, then you add a bit more right at the end.
I also made a wild garlic salad and wild garlic salad dressing. I cut up the leaves, with some lettuce leaves, tomatoes and cucumber, the flower is also edible and makes the salad look real pretty. For the dressing I used mayonnaise, lemon juice, the wild garlic and bulb garlic, wizzed together.
Yun Hider, in the video below, talks about learn one plant at a time which is a great idea, as you can gradually learn everything about that one plant, berry, fruit or mushroom and then move on. I’m really excited about finding a few other things to forage and learning how to eat them. Stinging nettle soup next, I think.