Wild Garlic, Enough To Spice Up Your Dishes
With the arrival of spring, we welcome wild garlic! This seasonal ingredient will find a place of choice in our recipes in the next few weeks. Here are some examples:
- “Poppy seed with wild Garlic pesto and Beetroot-Pear carpaccio”,
- “Mashed potatoes with wild garlic, fried radishes served with poppy seed and radish green pesto”
- “Green potato pancakes, carrot-yoghurt and braised onions with apples”
Wild garlic an herb that grows in woodlands and is best eaten in early spring. It develops best in cool conditions where the soil is moist and rich in nitrogen and the air is damp. The whole plant is edible, the leaves have a strong but fine garlic taste, which is all the more interesting as fresh garlic is only available at the end of winter; the flowers, seed cloves and bulbs are more pungent.
Wild garlic is known for its medicinal properties, and was once used by the Celts and Germans as a purifying plant. It originated in Asia, but has spread throughout the world.
The active ingredients of wild garlic are much the same as those of common garlic, but are more concentrated. Very rich in sulphuric essential oil, in vitamin C, vinyl sulphide, salts and allicin, wild garlic is a powerful antimicrobial and natural antibiotic.
But beware, these leaves can be confused with those of the Lily of the Valley and the Autumn Colchicum, the latter two are toxic. The flower will guide you on the right track. Those of the wild garlic are small, white with 6 petals on a thin stem. On the other hand, those of the colchicum are pink with three petals, while those of the lily of the valley are white in the shape of a bell in clusters all along a central stem.
By the way, if you want to harvest some wild garlic in Berlin, you can find it in Plänterwald or Treptower Park.