by Cindy Guilbert
As a child living surrounded by lanes and fields we used to go picking flowers … primroses, violets, daffodils … and as we walked we would always pick Stinking Onions and munch away on them.
it was many years later that I learned that they were in fact one of the many wild garlic varieties, Allium Triquetrum. (In fact, two other varieties are Allium Ursinum whose glossy spear like leaves which resemble Lily of the Valley with white flowers and Allium Pyrenaicum whose tall stems and mauve ball clusters of flowers are also often seen in the wild.
This plant is completely edible from the white bell like flowers that have a green stripe running down each petal, the long bluebell type leaves to the bulb itself.
These and other varieties commonly found lurking in woods, hedgerows, lanes and fields are free and very tasty. You will often smell them before you spot them, an unmissable fragrance to assure you that it is wild garlic.
They are a great ally to our health. Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic and antibiotic, they aid in reducing high blood pressure and so help to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. They also help to balance gut flora. Making them into a poultice can aid knee injuries too.
Such a versatile little plant.
How to Use
So how to use this wondrous plant … well very much in the same way as garlic. The flowers and chopped leaves make a great addition to salad or as a garnish, the bulbs too, and of course it can be used to replace garlic as a very fresh alternative.
The season is very short so why not preserve it a little longer by making a yummy pesto. PESTO
Wild Garlic Pesto
Crush some or all of the plant
Toasted pine nuts
Mix into a smooth paste.
Use immediately or store in a sterilised jar and for extra long storage put the full jars in a pan and boil like you would a jam.
When adding it fresh to meals, put it in near the end of the cooking time to preserve its delicious fresh flavour.
I’m pretty sure it is also effective at warding of vampires.
Enjoy your foraging and the Bounty of Mother Nature.