Also known as Ramsons, wild garlic (Allium ursinum) is a member of the onion family and is often prolific in damp, shady woodland in the spring.
This recipe for wild garlic oil blanches the leaves before use which does take what can sometimes be a harsh edge of the raw leaves, making a gently-flavoured oil with subtle garlic and nut overtones.
Give it a go – it is really quick and easy and great for using in spring time salad dressings and/or for basting grills of all kinds. AND you get a batch of fresh wild garlic puree left over at the end to use as you would pesto!
Prep. Time: about 10 minutes
Cooking time: about 5 minutes
Makes about 300 ml
Wild garlic leaves, freshly picked 2 generous handfuls
Olive oil or rapeseed oil 200 ml
Sea salt pinch
1) Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the wild garlic leaves briefly. Remove from the boiling water after a minute or so and refresh under ice cold water. Leave to drain.
2) Squeeze out the remaining water and place in a blender together with the oil and salt.
3) Blend until very finely puréed and then pass through a fine sieve.
4) Bottle the strained oil and store in the refrigerator where it will keep for about 4 weeks or so.
5) Do not discard the purée left in the sieve – bottle it, store in the fridge and use as you would pesto – to flavour a tub of cream cheese for an instant dip, as a pasta sauce or thinned down with a little more oil as a salad dressing.