Friday, March 5, 2010

wild garlic!



As soon as the snow melts and the sun has shone for a few days, I go to a particular hillside in our village in the hope that the first wild garlic has sprouted from the thawing earth. And today was the lucky day! That picture above is my first fistfull of the year, picked this morning.

Wild garlic, which also goes by the names ramsons, wood garlic, and buckrams, is actually in the onion family. We call it wild garlic because of it's strong garlicky fragrance and mild pungent flavour. 
In the beginning it sprouts in patches here and there, and does not yet give off a scent. By this time of year, we are all hungry for things green and fresh. The first tender leaves of wild garlic are very precious to me!



Chop it up and use it in salads, scrambles, sandwiches, quiche, pesto, in creamy dips, or as a soup garnish.


When I see the first wild garlic shoots, I am overcome with a sense of relief. I know that winter is fading, and spring is braving her way up through the soil. I actually get pretty giddy when I can finally crouch down on the forest floor and harvest the first wild food of the year!



After a time, the wild garlic forms a thick carpet on the woodland floor. Here are a couple of pictures from years past when the wild garlic was thriving:




:: look how little kiki is here! just one year old ::

The world will be blanketed in green once again very, very soon. In about a month the fruit trees will be blossoming, and I am sure any day now I'll discover the first frog and toad eggs. This time of year always makes me feel like a survivor, isn't that funny?

Today I experienced something interesting that I want to talk with you about tomorrow. And by the way, I loved hearing what you all had to say about friendship. It would seem that being generous with forgiveness and compassion is what makes friendship work. Thank you for always giving me something to contemplate, and for sharing your thoughts here!

Now I'm going to go spread a nice slice of crusty country bread with cream cheese and sprinkle it with chopped wild garlic; real forager food. :)

xoxo  your country girl

*just to clarify, this plant is not actually garlic. it is from the allium family, and you eat the leaves, not the bulbs. Read all about it here . Find recipes here . 

21 comments:

  1. Lovely! In my area, we have a lot of onion grass. It's basically the same concept as your wild garlic, except it tastes and smells very onion-y :)

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  2. Wow! I love it, wish we had some of that around here, they look oh so appetizing! Thank you so much for sharing all these wonderful things.

    Stay well and enjoy your day!

    xoxoGert

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  3. I've always wanted to try wild garlic - but I never knew what it looked like or where to find it - now I have a bit of a better idea so I'll keep my eye out! xxx

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  4. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, fresh bread and cream cheese - perfect.

    enjoy!

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  5. I LOVE wild garlic! When we go to the West Country - Somerset or Devon especially - in Spring, it's everywhere....the countryside smells like a glorious Italian restaurant! I love to stuff it under the skin of a chicken before roasting...but a cream cheese sandwich sounds wonderful too! xxo happy Weekend, dear Dawn xox Rachel

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  6. wow all that garlic!! that is so beautiful - and what a great photo of kiki!

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  7. there is nothing like wild or local garlic! completely different (and way tastier) from the stuff that is imported from China. Yum!
    Enjoy that crusty bread with cream cheese and wild garlic- yum!

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  8. I wish we had this plant, you make it sound wonderful. I grow garlic, but this seems so useful.

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  9. Love that top picture. You have a real eye for photography...

    xo
    Organic Spark

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  10. Last spring I searched for wild garlic everywhere, but I was sadly unsuccessful. So this spring I really hope that I can forage far and wide enough to find some as I definitely need gorgeous wild garlic in my life!
    Morwenna xoxo

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  11. I lived in an area near Melbourne where this takes over every lawn. I hated it! We called it 'onion weed'. If only I had known!

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  12. Oh, I wish we had it here. I haven't see it! In German it's called Baerlauch and I have some great recipes with it. I wonder if we could grow it in our garden. Enjoy some for me, will you?! Love, Silke

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  13. I've never seen this around here, but it would be ideal...I could fall in love with this quite easily.

    And I love your banner photo!! :)

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  14. I've never heard of this - how wonderful. It looks like the leaves from Lily of the Valley.
    Beautiful images country girl!!

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  15. To the woodlands we go and forage the tender green wild garlic for the feast with crusty country bread. Warm and garlicky...salty and pungent trips the taste buds and satisfies the hunger.

    Crisp clear pictures take me to the woodlands where the first spring bounty garlic awaits.

    Thank you.

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  16. Hi dawn..just checking in to say hi...
    i can hardly write this...

    so heartbroken....so sad....so lonely...

    love,
    kary

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  17. oh this would make a lovely butter spread.
    xo

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  18. Oh, I would love to taste that wild garlic. We call them ramps in the Southern United States. love, Beth

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  19. Mmm..one of my favorites as well. Where I live (Quebec, Canada) it is illegal to pick to much (I think over 30 bulbs). Be careful and check you municipality for laws because the fine is pretty steap

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  20. I've never had wild garlic / ramps but hopefully one day I'll get a chance to try them.

    Since you are featuring foraged food, come share your post in our Grow Your Own roundup this month! Full details at

    http://chezannies.blogspot.com/2010/03/announcing-grow-your-own-40.html

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