Wild garlic (Alium ursinum) is one of the first fresh flavours to forage in the early spring; it greens up still-dormant woodland with its new and lush aromatic leaves. The scent builds up and intensifies over the weeks as the plants grow and then blossom with fabulous white pompom flowers held aloft over the thick carpets of vibrant green. After what seemed an endless winter one year, I was so energised by the sight and smell of this new growth that I had a go at making a ganache with the leaves, little expecting the results to be as extraordinary as they were; it sounds terrible – but is honestly, fantastic – a real adventure for your taste buds! Possibly best enjoyed before a meal rather than after, an amuse bouche perhaps? and one customer told me that she had popped a truffle each onto freshly grilled lamb chops to delicious effect.
Much has been written about wild garlic by cooks and foragers. It is very easy to pick and to use – chopped in salads (the flowers are a lovely addition to salads), flavour soups and stews, pestos and hummous, quiches, omelettes. Details about identification and recipes can be found on the very wonderful Galloway Wildfoods website