Allium ursinum currently growing in a damp woodland near you. Also known as ramsons. As you can see the flowers still haven’t opened as it’s been a bit dry lately.
Wild garlic as it first appears before flowering
I picked some in the woods yesterday, in my guise as ye olde wise woman of Bristle, and many people stopped and asked if I was picking mushrooms.
‘No my lovers’ said I, ‘Yer be ramsons’.
‘Oh yes we could smell the garlic, but how do you know which one it is?’
In reply ye olde wise one handed them a leaf from her basket and said, ‘Here try for yourself.’
‘What are you going to do with it?’
Treat it like chives or garlic, chop it up, make it into pesto, add it into scrambled eggs. ‘ (For an olde wise one I am not very good at punctuating dialogue, so I’ll stop right there)
Strong while they are raw, the taste is very mild when they are cooked. Pick the small leaves and the flower buds and keep them in a cardboard punnet in the fridge, sprinkled with a bit of water. They should keep a day that way. If you can’t bend down to grab some, then Riverford Organic Vegetable boxes have them too in the next week or so. I bet there are loads of recipes around.
Ulrike and Lynne have both been baking with these: Ulrike made ciabatta rolls and Lynne a country loaf – the ingredient of the day! I joined in the following day : Here are my wild garlic ciabatta buns and the recipe for them courtesy of Baker Süpke in Thuringen, Germany.
Wikipedia says : Ramsons (Allium ursinum) (also known as buckrams, wild garlic, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic, sremuš or bear’s garlic) is a wild relative of chives. The Latin name owes to the brown bear‘s taste for the bulbs and habit of digging up the ground to get at them; they are also a favorite of wild boar.
They also make a lovely alternative to garlic in many other dishes as here : Potato Masala Dosa with Wild Garlic