Wild Garlic – The Essence of Spring
I’ve been foraging. Do you forage? What do you gather? It makes me feel in touch with my inner cave woman. I love going for a walk during the summer and coming home with a container full of berries. Or sneak a few apples of a tree. Today I went looking for wild garlic. I saw it on sale in Fallon & Byrnes in Dublin and it reminded me that it was in season and would be growing around the city in abundance. So why pay for what you can gather yourself? If you’re in Dublin and you fancy it, I’m about to send you on a little adventure. First make your way to Clontarf armed with a bag and a good nose. Find St Anne’s park. It’s at the very end of the Clontarf road, looking onto Bull Island. It hardly feels like the city anymore. Get into the park from the Red Stable entrance and take a look at the exhibition on your way in, because sure why not?
Now. Find this tower and place yourself where I would have stood to take the below picture.
Now turn around and you will see this lovely green shaded spot. Head towards the mossy trees, that’s where the wild garlic grows. It’s the dark green patch at the bottom of the trees.
Here it is from a bit closer.
The one thing you need to know: whilst it’s perfectly legal to pick the leaves, you shouldn’t uproot the plant. Not only is it against the law but it also prevents the plant from coming back next year and nobody wants that.
Now that you know what to watch out for pick a small basket full. It’s easy to come up with many ways of using this flavour packed herb. Wild garlic champ, wild garlic butter, wild garlic oil, a simple omelette with a couple of leaves shredded in it. A bowl of hot pasta with a drizzle of olive oil and a few leaves roughly chopped up and ran through it. Or even toastes sourdough with goat cheese, wild garlic and a bit of honey. Simple, fresh, seasonal and delicious.
Just make sure that you give the wild garlic a good wash with water cut with lemon juice or vinegar.
Below is my recipe for wild garlic pesto. Take 2 handfuls of wild garlic, 150 g of hard cheese (pecorino or parmesan), handful of nuts (I had some pine nuts and some walnuts), good pinch of salt, the juice of a lemon and olive oil. Put in the food processor and blend till you get it to the consistency you prefer. I’m a rough enough kinda girl.
Now you tell me. Do you go pick wild garlic? If so please leave me a message in the comment section with where you are in Ireland (or the world) and where you find it, as well as what you do with it. And if you’re habitual foragers what else do you go picking and where?