The Go Wild Go West blog

Foraging: Wild Garlic

The perfect way to get kids out walking!

If you’re wondering through woodland, or along shaded pathways, in Spring you’re likely to catch the distinctive whiff of garlic. Here in the South West there’s wild garlic (or Ramsons) everywhere! I always look forward to that first scent of garlic because it’s a sure sign that Spring has arrived and it’s time to get foraging!

foraging wild garlic
A beautiful walk and foragers dream!

Wild garlic can also add a little excitement to a walk. Let’s be honest, sometimes we need an excuse to encourage the kids out…. so rather than going for a boring-old walk, why not take them out on a foraging adventure?

Grab a couple of bags and a pair of gloves to gather wild garlic leaves. Then get cooking! They’re great with nettles in soup, or make a tasty pesto, or just substitute a garlic clove for a few leaves (perfect for stir fry’s, bolognaise, even campfire bread!!)

If you’re unsure where to find your nearest batch of wild garlic, a quick google search will give you plenty of options. Then once you know what it looks like, you’ll start to see it everywhere!

Tips for foraging wild garlic and nettles

  1. With wild garlic, the biggest clue is the smell. If it doesn’t smell like garlic, don’t eat it!
  2. You can also eat the white flowers of the Ramson plant
  3. Avoid wild garlic that is on a frequently used dog walking path…. for obvious reasons….
  4. Take gloves for picking nettles….
  5. Pick leaves from different plants so the plant has a chance to regenerate
  6. There’s a really great article by BBC Countryfile about foraging wild garlic here.
foraging wild garlic - garlic and nettle soup
wild garlic and nettle soup

Recipe:
Wild Garlic & Nettle Soup:

Ingredients:
Oil
Onion x 1
Leek x 1
Celery stick x 1
Carrot x 1
Potato x 1
1 litre vegetable stock
300g nettle leaves – washed
200g wild garlic – washed

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, leek, celery, carrot, potato and a good pinch of salt, and stir. Cover and let bubble gently for 20 minutes or so.
  • Pour in the stock and simmer for 10 mins. Add the nettles in several batches (using tongs), and stir. Then add the wild garlic leaves and simmer for 2 mins.
  • Remove from the heat and blend
  • Best accompanied by a cool glass of white wine (but that’s just personal preference!)

Have you thought about foraging Sticky Willy? Check out our recipe for Sticky Willy curry here.

Why not make it an outdoor cooking adventure?! Check out more details here.