Every year we forage wild garlic from the woods around the Riverford farm in Devon. Glossy, juicy and pungent, with a milder flavour than the dried bulbs – wild garlic leaves are one of the joys of spring and add a welcome dash of green during The Hungry Gap when other crops can be sparse.
The season is short, so enjoy while you can with these recipe ideas.
Wild garlic salt
Head chef at the Riverford Field Kitchen, Lewis Glanvill, has created an Instagram-sensation this year with his homemade wild garlic salt.
It’s a great way to capture the fresh garlicky flavour of this early spring delicacy, and once made, it can be stored for several months. Use as a finishing garnish on a whole host of dishes; from dips and freshly baked breads, to platters of roasted seasonal veg.
To make this at home, you’ll need:
800g of sea salt and 100g of chopped wild garlic.
First of all you need to make a salty paste. To do this add 100g of sea salt and 100g of chopped garlic to a blender and briefly blend to form a thick mixture. Next, mix this paste through 700g of sea salt until all of the salt has turned a vibrant green. Spread the mixture out on a baking tray and leave somewhere to dry overnight. And that’s it – simple. Put it in a jar and store in a cool, dry place, ready to be enjoyed.
Wild garlic chicken kiev with baked beetroot bubble and squeak
Chicken Kiev is a retro classic. Originally made with dried garlic, it works equally as well with the fresh wild garlic - mix it into the cabbage leaves if you a particularly big fan.
Wild garlic and potato soup
Paired with the punchy taste of wild garlic, potatoes make a wonderfully savoury and inexpensive soup. Increase the amount of wild garlic, if you dare! Riverford delivers the wild garlic leaves but not the flowers, as they’re too delicate to travel, so you’ll have to forage for those if you want to use them – or garnish with lots of chopped parsley instead.
Read the full wild garlic and potato soup recipe.
Wild garlic pesto pasta with slow cooked courgettes
Watch as the courgettes collapse into a thick and unctuous sauce. Low and slow is the key. If you have lots of wild garlic, the pesto recipe can be scaled up and will keep well jarred in the fridge for at least a week if covered with a layer of oil.
Read the full wild garlic pesto pasta with slow cooked courgettes recipe.
Lemon and thyme pork with potato and wild garlic hash
For this recipe, we use spare rib pork steaks as they have a deeper flavour and wonderful marbling of fat to keep them succulent. Paired with chunks of fried potato and wilted wild garlic, this recipe makes a quick, simple dinner.
Read the full lemon and thyme pork with potato and wild garlic hash recipe.
Broccoli, tomato and wild garlic wheatberries with mashed potato
If you’ve not tried wheatberries (wholegrain wheat kernels) before then I hope you like them and want to use them again. They add a really good texture to vegetarian dishes, and can be used in stew style dishes or cooked, cooled and used in salads.