A couple of weeks ago we brought you a guide to foraging for food. One of the easiest and tastiest foods to forage is wild garlic, a plant which is as versatile as it is fragrant, and can be a welcome addition to almost any dish. Cooking with garlic is always an enjoyable experience, with the delicious, warming smells wafting around your kitchen for hours, and cooking with a plant which you foraged and picked yourself is all the more satisfying.
Here are a few delicious ways to use your freshly picked, wild garlic.
A good garlic puree makes using garlic in cooking even more easy and versatile, and can help to prolong the life of your wild garlic. Use it to accompany cuts of meat, or mix with oil, herbs and spices to create a marinade.
3 peeled garlic bulbs
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
White wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Simmer garlic for 10 minutes in the milk until soft. Add the olive oil and a little salt and pepper to taste.
Strain the garlic, keeping the milk. Return 5tbsp of the milk to the garlic and blend using a hand blender. Add a splash of vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Tip: If you prefer a stronger, more pungent garlic taste, reduce the cooking time down to 7 to 8 minutes.
Korean pickled garlic
Pickled garlic cloves is a popular Korean side dish and can be used to add flavour and variety to a number of asian dishes, or as a snack or appetiser on its own. Pickled garlic is prepared in vinegar brine, then transferred to soy brine and stored in a jar, a great way of using wild garlic and preserving it if you find you’ve picked too much.
8-9 whole heads of wild garlic
To make the vinegar brine:
1 tablespoon sea salt
To make the soy brine:
150ml dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
Separate the garlic heads into cloves and soak in hot water for 30 minutes to soften and loosen skins.
Peel garlic and chop off the hard root ends. Rinse and add to a sterilized pickling jar.
Combine the ingredients for the vinegar brine, stirring until the salt dissolves and pour over the garlic cloves. Leave at room temperature for 1 week.
After 1 week, combine the soy brine ingredients and bring to the boil for 4 to 5 minutes.
Drain the vinegar brine and return the garlic cloves to the jar. Once cooled, pour the soy brine over the garlic and cover completely. Leave for 2 weeks before opening. The garlic can be kept in a fridge for a couple of months once opened and the flavour should develop and improve over time.
Aubergine and roast garlic dip
One of the best ways of using wild garlic and harnessing its flavour is with an aubergine and roast garlic dip, which is perfect for dipping bread, raw vegetables or tortillas, or accompanying salads, sandwiches or other foods.
2 medium aubergines
6 cloves of wild garlic
120ml sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon mustard
2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Prick aubergines all over with a fork and bake at 190C for 35 minutes before adding the garlic to the baking tray. Bake for a further 25 minutes, then remove and leave to cool.
Use a knife to open up the aubergine and scoop out the pulp inside. Add to food processor along with the peeled garlic. Add the sour cream and continue to blend until smooth (though you can leave it less blended if you prefer a chunkier dip)
Add to a bowl and mix in the herbs, mustard, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
This dip should ideally be served straight away, but can be covered with cling film and kept in the fridge for a couple of days.
Garlic mashed potatoes
This garlic mashed potatoes is always a favourite, and is great to try if you’ve recently harvested your own potatoes as well as garlic. Use as a delicious accompaniment to almost any meat, fish or vegetarian dish.
1 wild garlic bulb
1 tablespoon olive oil
60ml sour cream
4 tablespoon butter
a dash of milk (optional)
salt and pepper
Pre heat oven to 180C
Coat the head of garlic in olive oil and loosen the individual cloves. Wrap in aluminium foil and bake for 45 minutes
Loosen and remove the garlic’s papery skin and add cloves to a bowl
Mash the roasted garlic with a fork or potato masher until soft
Peel (if desired), chop and boil potatoes until soft, then mash with a fork or potato masher
Add the garlic, sour cream and butter to the potatoes and mix until smooth. Add milk if you prefer a creamier texture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This delicious and hearty mashed potato is perfect as an accompaniment to main meals or can be eaten as a small meal in itself. Try stirring in grated cheese for a bit of variety.
Image sourced: Pivaritagsforagingpreserving foodsrecipewild garlic