Last week I started a new food series here on the blog focusing in on my fascination with survival (and coincidentally the ever-looming apocalypse).
Each week I’ll feature a wild food resource that can be found lurking where you least expect it.
See it as a guide for when things start to go down; if anything you’ll be prepared! This week:
T’is the season. Spring is truly here when wild garlic is in abundance.
It’s often remarked that wild garlic has been prized for many years in Ireland and I can see why.
These glorious tufts of green, fragrant leaves and flowers are filled with the most wonderful flavour.
Preferring more acidic soils, you’ll find the plant on the deciduous woodland floor where it grows like a carpet, spreading around trees and walkways.
What’s great is that the entire plant is edible, but unless you actually own the land where the plant is growing, it’s illegal to uproot the whole bulb (incidentally uprooting can prevent the plant from returning the next year so it’s better to be a sustainable forager!)
(Image via WikimediaCommons/PhilipHalling)
Your best bet is to take leaves, from a few plants around the area and pop them into a foraging sack.
Be wary that there may be dogs who have had to the understandable urge to pee in the woods, so it’s safer not to clip the leaves that are just beside a pathway.
There are a few plants that look like wild garlic but are highly poisonous (I’m looking at you Lily of the Valley), but use your nose – the plant should smell distinctively like garlic and be very pungent. Don’t pick it if you’re unsure.
For those with a little bit more time on their hands and are not in a hurry to feed their camp or run away from zombies, why not try to blend up the wild garlic with Parmesan, rapeseed oil, lemon and pine nuts to make a delicious homemade pesto – perfect on crackers or on pasta.
As always, happy foraging!
Movie to watch: Contagion
(Lead image via WikimediaCommons/michaelclarke)