Wild garlic is a popular ingredient in many dishes, but it’s also one that can be hard to store. It becomes much more pungent and loses some of its flavour over time, so you have to know how to preserve it properly if you want the best results every time! This blog post will teach you everything about storing wild garlic and what foods are the best pairings for this delicious herb.
What is wild garlic and why should you care about it?
Wild garlic, or Allium ursinum, is the wild form of common bulb variety that you find in your grocery store. It’s an edible ornamental plant with a strong garlicky flavour and scent. Wild garlic is considered to be more pungent than cultivated varieties because it contains higher levels of allyl methyl sulfide which gives it its flavourful properties. You can use this herb fresh or dried – but if you want to enjoy the full benefits of using wild garlic, then there are some important steps you need to take!
How to store your wild garlic for later use
One common misconception is that wild garlic can be dried and stored in a container. However, this is not the case! Wild garlic needs to be stored in a sealable bag and kept cold (either in the fridge or on ice).
Keep your wild garlic sealed up tight for about two weeks before opening it again to use some more – that way you will get the full benefits of preserving its strong aroma and flavour. If you want to keep it for longer than two weeks do the following:
- To preserve wild garlic for prolonged periods, chop the leaves into 1-inch lengths and place them in ice cube containers with water.
- Freeze the wild garlic before it can spoil. When you need to use some, take some out of the freezer and let it thaw in a bowl of water before adding it to your dish.
What recipes go well with it?
Wild garlic is versatile and can be used generously in a variety of dishes. Here are some popular recipes that pair well with wild garlic:
Wild Garlic Pesto Sauce: Combine one cup fresh basil, one clove minced garlic, two cups olive oil, half teaspoon salt and pepper to taste for an easy pesto sauce or dip.
Risotto: A great finishing touch to risotto is the addition of wild garlic to taste.
Fried Eggs: Add a few leaves of chopped or minced wild garlic for an amazing breakfast treat!
Wild Garlic Fried Rice: Combine one cup rice, three cups vegetable broth, two tablespoons soy sauce and five cloves minced garlic with some fresh ground pepper. Bring mixture to boil then reduce heat and simmer until liquid has evaporated and vegetables are cooked through about 20 minutes. If desired serve over broccoli slaw mix (green cabbage finely shredded) before topping the dish off with crispy fried bacon bits.
Salads: Younger leaves are a good companion with leafy greens and summer vegetables sprinkled over or mixed together.
Wild Garlic Caesar: A classic! Combine romaine, croutons (or breadcrumbs), parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil and five cloves minced garlic with some fresh ground pepper to taste for a great take on the old favourite.
Wild Garlic Arugula: Pair arugula leaves and wild garlic for a simple salad with plenty of flavours!
Soup: Wild garlic is great in soup, either as an ingredient or garnish.
How to grow your own wild garlic
As with other types of herbs and vegetables from the same family, wild garlic is an easy plant to grow at home.
If you have a patch of open land or even just a sunny corner of your garden that’s not being used for much else, then it will be the perfect spot!
Wild garlic can be grown from seed and mature in summer or early the following spring, depending on which climate you’re in.
Sow the seeds indoors using potting soil at any time from March to June; you can also sow them outside in April-June.
Typically, tame garlic needs to germinate at a temperature of 15-20°C and remain moist.
It takes about one to two weeks for the new seedlings to emerge.
If you transplant the plants outside one month after sowing, space them 8 in (20 cm) apart.
Grow wild garlic as a clump rather than planting it in regular rows.
Once desired length is achieved, cut the wild garlic leaves with scissors. The outermost leaves (those nearest to the edge of the pot) should be removed first and followed by those inside.
When harvesting wild garlic, cut the number of stalks needed to base.
Wild garlic leaves rapidly grow back, providing a continuous harvest. To encourage growth, plant in the spring and leave alone until July to allow for good root development.
Wild garlic is a surprising ingredient with many culinary uses. It’s easy to store and provides a burst of flavour that will impress your dinner guests. For those who are hesitant to try new things, there is no need to worry! Unlike some other types of “wild foods,” wild garlic can be used in any dish you would normally use regular-old garlic (or even onion) without changing the taste too much. Surprise your friends by adding it into an old favourite or try making one of these dishes using wild garlic as the star component. You might not know what you were missing until now!