From April wild Garlic starts growing in abundance in the British Isles. Its initial appearance in Scotland varies year on year depending on the arrival of the warmer spring weather.
The temperate Celtic rain forests along the Atlantic West Coast and Isles of Scotland provide the plant with the ideal habitat, growing in among the mosses and rocks on the banks of the rivers and burns that cascade through these ancient woodlands in spring time.
The plant is easily recognisable. We
discovered it on a walk in the Glenelg peninsula in mid May. We were first alerted to its presence by the pungent smell (garlic or onion) in the air and as we ventured into the wood the distinctive & delicate white flowers were unmistakable.
It is legal to forage the plant in the UK and all parts of the plant are edible and can be used in various ways - the leaves are a tasty addition to a salad or make a perfect pesto to accompany a pasta dish. The leaves can be added to an omelette and the flowers used as a herbal tea and are a perfect decoration to any savoury dish.
Wild Garlic Pesto with Wholewheat spaghetti
- Washed Wild garlic leaves
- Roasted Hazelnuts
- Parmesan Cheese
- Olive Oil or Hazelnut Oil
- Wild Garlic flowers to decorate
Blend the ingredients together in proportions to suit your taste(hazelnuts can be replaced with pine nuts or walnuts). Separately cook to "al dente" a packet of wholewheat spaghetti (or use any type of pasta) When ready mix the pasta thoroughly with the prepared pesto using some cooking water from the pasta to ensure the pesto mixes easily and clings to the pasta. Present in a large bowl sprinkled with fresh wild garlic leaves.
Selected Reading from the Bookshop: